It’s true it’s nice
there was a nice breeze
and there still is
I have plans with my friends
putting up some sheets to soften
the light and keep
my imagination a little more
yeah, that seems like the right word
by the selfishness inherent
in strict adherence
so try on kinder thoughts
like fashionable hats
when I annoy myself
try to think of myself
in the desert I saw something
strategic a bright light
shining a word
a term I think I lean on
a little too much
I got pulled over in Wisconsin
I was alone
I said fuck it
it’s just money
my God it is I
and I’ve never been sure
about my justifications
but that one seemed lucid
and mostly reasonable
we are queued for divine
judgment under the law
of free grace so what
in the world could you
possibly mean by rational
I pointed out to you another constellation
in the sky you said you liked
but your eyes just rolled
a breeze might turn
into a storm
I feel okay
GOING TO SEE
Last night I went to Arrowhead,
smoked a cigarette in the snow.
Snow. It is almost May,
but okay, the world gets on with it.
I have now felt fucked up
for eight months wondering maybe
one of these weekends resurrects me.
I feel a little shame about ambivalence
since time flies. Started this poem at home
but I had to go to work.
I’m at work now
comparing this to that. Are you sure and
what do you think and so on.
Wherever I go cracking jokes
nothing cheers me up except everything
that does. It’s unpredictable
my big swirling life and my angry heart.
Everything I do is up to me, which sucks.
It is amazing to be a star. It is better
to be a star in a really good constellation.
Pretty good to have folks around.
I am both big and small if you think
about it, and I have to carry my own light.
Now, this is the last part, wherein
I explain having been misled by poetry.
You have to love it very much
to get by. There’s no real reason to do it
so when you are careless with it
that’s a kind of meanness. Last night
the snow cleared to reveal a clearness
on the horizon, a mountain, another world.
I thought, okay, fine, I’ll sound more like me,
and I read my little poem off the Piazza.
A storm blew through another vicinity.
I found calmness and a little construction,
and told my friends about my life.
I'VE CHANGED MY MIND
I’m staying here, but how.
A little tern I’m watching
gets a little jumpy. The ocean
is fucking gigantic, I mean, look
at it. It goes on forever. The things
you see you set against each other
in your mind, and they come
into various combinations.
I spent the whole morning again,
and what did I get for that
but another morning of having
been alive here on the only planet
I know. The colors are blue, yellow,
and this magnificent kind
of slate, and I read that
most of what the Earth is
is invisible. This bird is just
part of that, I mutter, getting back
in the car. There’s a great deal
of green as well, of course. Red, too.
And thusly the mechanics
of my mood have changed,
which is what everything does.
Can I keep telling you about it?
It’s my poem, and I can,
but even in here probably
I will spend the day fearing
I held you politely hostage.
Let’s not pretend love can’t turn
into that sometimes, dear reader.
Seth Landman lives in Western Massachusetts. He is the author of Confidence (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2015) and Sign You Were Mistaken (Factory Hollow, 2013). He is the editor of Divine Magnet, he collaborates with the poet Seth Parker on TYOYEU (@tyoyeu), and he writes about the NBA on The Peach Basket.