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Bruce Covey



Turning on a light eliminates a second-hand ghost.
You never know what sort of celebrity might show up,
Neck broken or eyes already eaten.  Ancestry, possession,
Reincarnation—is the dead one ever inconsequential,
Random?  If only John Cage had used dice instead of sticks.
I put my faith in numbers, rather than symbols. 
Cards are ok too, except for the face cards, which
Flaunt their considerable wealth.  Take two dozen aspirin
& go to bed.  Alyssa Milano “came up with the idea”
For a $3.99 comic book.  How many writers does it take?
When Libby died on LOST, I cried, but really anyone
Shot while going home for blankets forgotten
For a picnic elicits grief.  In real life, though, anyone
Who shoots herself is just plain unlucky.  Period.  



Counting Back

How many types of tickets have I had?  How many arrows?  How many unreturned texts?

The only way is to let go of walking and its massive collection of shapes, most of which are now unattached to anything.  I read Ashbery’s Popeye poem while walking, then bought some coffee.  The bookstore had had a sale on rectangles.

Built on top of what used to be coarse landscaping.  I moved bags full of pillows up and down 83 steps.  I ate chocolate and drank Coke for breakfast and carried desks and files and cabinets.  Withdrew a hundred dollars.  Bought a square bottle of shampoo.

Thinking what the best tool might be.  A rasp?  There’s metal mixed throughout this wood, and something organic amidst the small stones.

One day the wind was so strong, it sucked a piano out through a display window. 

Where the fries are crinkly and old fashioned.  Let’s have lunch.  Here’s your menu.  My whole history’s on it, and the prices are low.



Bruce Covey's sixth book of poetry, Change Machine, was published by Noemi Press in 2014. He lives in Atlanta, GA, where he publishes & edits Coconut magazine & Coconut Books & curates the What's New in Poetry reading series.