Michael Tyrell


Tomorrow we’ll lose an hour of light. Tomorrow the living will run the trained horses of their bodies almost to death. I can picture them now, even though I’m in yesterday’s news, the digitized necropolis; when a name comes up a handful in ten thousand it’s like the pale forearm of someone drowning: an almost erotic rescue. Then uncertainty again. A hundred years ago, to be gassed in the forest, then a Paris hospital. Untraceable for eighteen months. Was there something besides the wounding that kept him? I’ve spent my life envying the fugitives, but he came home, climbed ladders with one leg, the houses of Kent Street got painted, and he fathered someone who brought me here. The ladders have to be moved, everything has to be put aside for the runners; bless those who brought in the green bronze hay-bales, like something from the intractable past, to divide the watchers from the watched; liminal fodder, bundled light.

Bottle Episode

A TV episode that usually focuses on one or two characters, on a limited
budget, in a small, easily managed set designed for quick shooting.

Time for closeups: the mother and son,
who has said something to her unforgivable,
who has wished him unborn—

so why shouldn’t it be like one of those mid-season installments
late in the life of the series itself?
Money and earth in the ruined world, two desperadoes

not unlike Heisenberg and Pinkman,
so engaged in their enterprise and requited hate
they have little use for words.

Only a skeleton crew now, a cast of
two. A shared room, INTERIOR TWO NORTH.
Saint Nowhere, -Never, say

the surrounding characters written out.
Who wanted too much money to stay.
Who needed to be killed off. For realism

an aide entering the theater.
Never a doctor. As if, in any reality,
the doctors knew how to conceal themselves.

But Dolores behind the curtain,
waking, Dolores with her word for honey,
the word for nothing.
Saying no, no–is that the one hardest to shake?

Saying no: your story alone isn’t worth seeing.
In the poem you didn’t read
(Whatever images I have now, I hoard them.
What words I hold, they conjure and shatter.)

It’s the earthly light that never seems to enter the room.
It’s the money the show is saving, never leaving the set.
Time for one take, mark it, roll sound, though
you’ll have no cliffhanger, hiatus.

No, honey, nada honey,
Honey       nada,
honey no,     bottling  the never honey.

Michael Tyrell is the author of two books, The Wanted and Phantom Laundry, and co-editor, with Julia Spicher Kasdorf, of Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn. His poems have appeared in over 100 publications, including recent editions of Best American Poetry, Bellevue Literary Review, Dunes Review, Iowa Review, and La Presa.

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