The Coast of Old Barbary
A bird builds a nest in your
It’s a Magnificent Frigate Bird
& its nests are legion. Your
understandably, stray. Your days
grow confusing & you’re
to the sea where you begin choking on a shanty.
You hunt albatross & then
miles away, adapting your scrimshaw
to their sizes’ shapes. The crag
of your jaw beaks neatly out. You
your windburn like new panties.
Your neck’s magnificent crag beaks
You hunt your sentences your days
You hunted my
these safe sheets calling
the water our feathers belly-white and buried.
Of Bang & Blab
I consider my life’s plain
accumulation of facts. Crickets saw
the hour down. You
the wine, earlier, from your glass
to the bottle.
It drained all
the heat from your fingers.
I say, “Trees,
please keep it down …
Let’s pull it together!”
I survey my surround
as a satellite
& catch a glance— the edge
of witness—the eerie twitch
it takes to turn
the fir to fire.
Let’s start this conversation
some place new. Make me
an inventory of all the places
your fingers have been.
Please shut up. There there.
It’s the architecture—the damning
maze of angles so formulaic
you lose yourself without being lost.
Big Howlin’ Blind Monet & His Mud-lily Wolfband
At your funeral, I surveyed your
& felt a disconnect until I remembered
that the railroads were responsible
for both French Impressionism
& Chicago blues. In truth it was your wedding
& you’re still around,
no dispensation from each morning’s milk-thick lighting.
What is gained & lost &
by being the narrator.
I’m far enough in debt to context
that I write
the index first, that I insist the ablation of the text
is to heighten the other senses & stall this memory
in mid-air. If my fingers are
then I was pawing at my eyes.
BJ SOLOY plays guitar, banjo, washboard, and suitcase drumkit in the anachronistic prog-yawp outfit "Dear Sister Killdeer," and has poems published or forthcoming in New American Writing, Colorado Review, Court Green, CutBank, MipoEsias, Columbia Poetry Review, Starting Today (University of Iowa Press) and DIAGRAM, among others.