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WHITE WHALE REVIEW
Adrian Blevins
Adrian Blevins is the author of Live from the Homesick Jamboree (Wesleyan University Press, 2009), The Brass Girl Brouhaha (Ausable Press, 2003), and a chapbook, The Man Who Went Out for Cigarettes (Bright Hill Press, 1996). A second chapbook—Bloodline—is forthcoming from Hollyridge Press in the fall. She is the recipient of many awards and honors including a Kate Tufts Discovery Award for The Brass Girl Brouhaha, a Rona Jaffe Writer’s Foundation Award, a Bright Hill Press Chapbook Award, the Lamar York Prize for Nonfiction, and, more recently, a Cohen Award from Ploughshares. She teaches poetry at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

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Adrian Blevins

THE PLUNGE

 

You can stand on the brink of the gorge and jump

            if you like your bathing suit. If the water’s not too far,

                        too hot, too fat with the pee foam of cattle or fish

 

and the soggy bodies of boys, girls, men, women

            and the Spartan elderly with their floating picnic debris

                        of supple infant charges and their toy guns

 

and other bright orange pacifiers floating in the creek

            you went to in ‘78 sometimes for the sake of fun you guess

                        or really because you were after negligence

 

as in to find a joint and smoke it, a beer and drink it,

            a boy to do him with a Chevy to speed in

                        or a Ford to get way down and hide in

 

because in point of fact your bathing suit was kind

            of nasty, came from Texas or some other trash heap

                        or discount barrel or psychotic middle drawer

 

of birthed-out cat blood and fur ruminant

            and just try to say otherwise, you nebulous little idiot,

                         you long-ago fuss I think of poof I think and whoosh.


Adrian Blevins

TESTIMONY

 

Her desire for the babies diminished

            after she had them, though naturally

                        they were still there,

 

teeming like microbes in every muddy place

            she’d pick them up to ponder

                        their outlandish qualities

 

such as they were full of angle and craving

            like those quilted squares of rice

                        she used to toss in the gym

 

at school. Such as: water enraged them.

            And any kind of rubbing

                        or sheering. Not to mention

 

the middle of the night with the moon up there

            being too vigorous a thing

                        to sleep through. Ditto

 

[....]


Adrian Blevins

peas from a can and corn from a can

            and anything at all

                        even lightly slack,

 

as another snag as regards the babies

            was them always wanting down

                        when they were up and up

 

when they were down. As in: they were

            foolish! And messy! And made all spoiled and knotty

                        the simplest activities

 

such as drinking tea or walking unmindfully

             not to even mention the bother

                        of their constant requirements

 

such as rubber pants and fruit cups

            not to even mention their beds and dolls

                        and things to jump on and listen to

 

as well as the shots against diphtheria and tetanus

            and the gathering of other meds

                        for the insomnia and diarrhea

 

[....]


Adrian Blevins

making their poor mother

            in as much as destitute

                        unless you consider her

 

always doing this song of them

            all doleful and doting and

                        fucked-up and fraught.


Adrian Blevins

AND THEN THE BABIES BEGAN TO WIGGLE AND DROP

 

and wander like swine on the floor of the bank

                         and in every you-name-it field and aisle I guess because

 

whatever I had or was the thankless little cannibals

                        didn’t want any more as in not milk and not peas or sleep or stories

 

and not their dad either or any person anywhere because

                        if you’ll pardon the expression, the babies thought that this was

 

the shit—whatever this was—this moving on the ground

                        so loose and wobbly, this feeling so unfastened and variable,

 

this lax and spur-of-the-moment and even slightly squalid sense

                        of the unchained knees corresponding to the ground

 

                                                with the face and things all airy and out

 

unless that’s wrong and I’m worse than mistaken

                        and we were all quite fretful and shell-shocked back then

 

[....]


Adrian Blevins

like were all blasted up from some thunderous vault

                        and I’m not saying we were and I’m not saying we

 

weren’t, but us being a family back then may have been like us

                        being on a little boat rocking to and fro

 

when it was always winter or it was worse than hot

                        and our skin would get stuck together ripping holes

 

when we’d part and I’m not saying this was my incarceration

                        because I was too devoted and as for my heart pounding

 

                                   like a pounding wanting out, so what, so what, so what?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright © Adrian Blevins. White Whale Review, issue 4.2


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