Aaron Belz, 2017: 4 poems

  Aaron Belz

  4 poems

  JPR 07
  Same Boat

I’ve been running around like—well
not a chicken, but a person
with its head cut off.

Twitching on the ground, that is.
I’d spent Sunday listening to Janáček
and drinking Molotov

cocktails at a park that overlooks
an empty river that runs through
the village near the croft

I now call home. Full of leaves it was
and sparse—raspy, hoarse, I mean.
Then I trod softly home

and today has been a significant b.
just in terms of neurons
popping and snapping

as I lie here prone under cold
and cloudless skies. What is
the meaning of life?

I have no clue. I made mistakes
yesterday I can’t revise/undo —
nor, it seems, can you.

  All Year

I’ll tell you what I would like to do.
Yes, I will also tell you what I will do.

I will keep this team moving forward
despite its personality conflicts.

Despite budgetary constraints
I will keep this team moving forward.

Now, I can’t attend every single meeting.
Nor can I integrate key learning

with every solution this team deploys.
But I will keep this team moving

as a snake moves across a lake surface:
scary, but probs nonvenomous.

As all year the — pine tree stays green
I will find you in the break room

where you are texting your boyfriend,
probs near the vending machines,

and I will not yell at you. I will not bark
Hey Jody, Get the eff back to work!

Because I’m gentle and horrible.
I’m beardless though I seem to be short.

What am I? I am the man who will fight
for your team moving forward.

Jody, what has happened to us?
When did we begin to move apart?


We move the needle.
We impact it.

Taking the baton
is top of mind, for us.

So’s running with it.
Is there more
we could be doing?

Identifying challenges
in the process.

Cheering neighbors
with firm handshakes.

Adding depth
to our product team.

And that’s the thing:
we have resources available
but can’t engage ourselves.

I’m holding you
to a new standard.
Enough learning on the fly.

More excitement
is what I’d like to see.

  Windsor Promiscuity

Windsor had been a lovely spot
until the Caterpillars dozed it.

It had had Hadley, a book merchant’s;
it had had Haddad’s Necromancy.
It had even had a Cake Fancy franchise,

all of which was surrounded
by the loveliest sort of uncontrollable
state park but without road or path.

The best part of Windsor,
though, was that Jane lived there.
Jane, my sister. My kept little sister.

What a treat, then to drive the Torino
out there on a Friday evening
as though a real tornado were not hot

on our heels. What a treat to roll up
across creaking, crackling gravel.

Mandy and I are no longer together, though.
We’ve gone the way of the dodo.
Her girlfriends think I’m a nut job, now.

US poet Aaron Belz, 2017.

Aaron Belz has published three books of poetry: The Bird Hoverer (BlaxeVOX,2007), Lovely, Raspberry (Persea, 2010) and Glitter Bomb (Persea, 2014) as well as numerous essays and reviews. Originally from St. Louis, he lives now in Hillsborough, North Carolina.


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