December 28, 2010

Adam Palumbo


There’s no place like here, this massive legume. Smell the wingéd cold and the wretched streets and the sun that shines through you like a rosy bloom. Don’t feel entitled to anything, because you’re not. For God’s sake (and yours) don’t get caught in the caul.

The fuzzy feeling behind your eyes will sharpen into consciousness, like a tooth. Intellect will seize you—have faith also. Its steep slope gets more treacherous, certainly, but more wondrous for the danger.

Warm yourself by the embers of language. Feed them until they conflagrate and rage, and with them feed the breath of your form. Embrace your whiskey slurs, dammit. They will teach you to see through your blindness.

Release your hope for a painless life. You will fail. You will have conversations with the terror of culpability, but do not fear. Remember what it would impoverish you to forget.

Look at the blue velvet of her eyes. Carry it with you always, even when you dream you’re alone in the world.

At least once jump into the sea, that nitrogenous bath at the border of our comprehension. Consider the eddies of existence that have preempted yours, but remember that every problem in this world has flowed from human error.

Become dust. Exist in songs of being.


He used to walk,
as a child,
with his mother
down the sunny lane.
Together they would walk
together, on their afternoon expeditions
to the wonderfully radiant field.
And there, in the middle,
the tractor.

He had never seen it run.
In fact, its huge iron wheels
swore their testimony of rust—
it had not run
since before his mother was a girl
when it
winnowed the bright grain of the lonely field
in the heavy summer sun.

He had never seen it run.
It stood like a friendless lion,
growing darker and weaker with age.
His small feet found the grooves
in the cogs
of the dilapidated wheels
and he hoisted
into the driver’s seat
and brought the old beast
back to life
to the tune of his boyish mind
and the rumblings of his happy little mouth.

He used to walk,
as a child,
with his mother
down the sunny lane.

the furious cars fly past,
slapping the air in their whizzing way,
eating the golden field
one forlorn lane at a time.


Adam Palumbo is a senior English/Creative Writing major at the University of Richmond, where he won the 2010 Margaret Haley Carpenter award for Poetry. He has had poetry reviews published at The Rumpus and PANK.

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