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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press


By: Lawrence Bridges


The coat of snow above my brow

marks, through clouds, my body's mountain.

I hold it up with one hand like the tower

of Pisa or make the helicopter fly

into my mouth as a meme trick.

But now that I'm climbing,

it's a real mountain and I must

connect it on a map to a range I feel

beneath my fingertips as rough-textured

mornings when I'm distracted

from describing how it is

in this melted body, during a month

of rain, when we all converge,

roiling past curbs, polluting the bay

with our distresses and shame.

Now I've said improper things

with grievance to no one and nothing

but my own weight to scale and climb out

of sleep to say what it is like to feel.


I throw away scraps of paper to divert your eye

while I climb out the window to seek the truth.

Truth is Sally, Mini, Hanna, Tanna?

I heard that. Not amused. Hit

this wad of paper like a baseball! Truth is food.

You missed me. I’m texting from one of those

concrete square-angled park benches.

My excellent posture and I don't meditate!

My eyes can only target so I drone out above

and wide and see myself in the midst of rain-

free California, anywhere. I document,

run in street clothes, hatch plans, and hustle.

Forever poor, your lover, your clown. My good/

bad thoughts? Pull back the drone to space, what

of them? What bothers me is this spill on my tie.

Watch that scooter! Almost hit you. Car door

slams are salads. I like how I'm the passenger

when the car drives itself. Watch me hit

that wastebasket from twenty feet. Your turn.


A river rock

a frozen dome

a friend armed

with annoying irony,

I’m struggling to

pry a layer

and enter

under a mattress’s

creamy center, sweets

in jars put up by

dead parents,

an urge to hold a child

there in that one-hour photo,

to lay hands on the deceased

or on my own survival,

this passing thing

unprotected, looking

in windows like a fox,

ahead and behind

never outside itself.


Lawrence Bridges is best known for work in the film and literary world. His poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Tampa Review. He has published three volumes of poetry: Horses on Drums, Flip Days, and Brownwood. As a filmmaker, he created a series of literary documentaries for the NEA’s “Big Read” initiative, which include profiles of Ray Bradbury, Amy Tan, Tobias Wolff, and Cynthia Ozick.


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