Clade Song 12 left

Clade Song 12


A ticked note is a dropped clam in the parlance
of record producers.
I used to hear things better than most—
the glug of river otters diving out of sight,
the underwater music of a quotidian day.
Leftover skulls from Halloween create their own Golgotha in my favorite bar.
There is a thought out there that words are soap bubbles that culminate in soap scum.
No thought like that would enter through the hollow
socket of an eye.
It dries out—the word, the bubble, not the man, if that’s what I’m to be called. 
I never wanted this. D Dorian, its strange minor relative to nothing.
Do you find that when she leaves the house 
the wallpaper resents kicking itself and peeling off in hanks, like the bark of some mysterious, weeviled tree?
Do you, as one who punctiliously names the world, resent this question?
When she is gone the house sighs and quiets down; it pays me no attention.
Some can write good poems with bad pens.
I am not among them.
An incident is categorically incidental,
but we build monuments of those and call them monumental too.
It’s likely that our moments are attached to hair-thin filaments that flutter.
I start to swim when the car careens over the bridge rail.
Between pan pan and mayday many things can happen.
A kicked-out windshield. Two perseverant lives. 

Clade Song 12 Right

Cal Freeman is the author of the books Fight Songs (Eyewear, 2017 )and Poolside at the Dearborn Inn (R&R Press, 2022). His writing has appeared in many journals including The Oxford American, River Styx, Southword, Passages North, and Hippocampus. He currently serves as Writer-In-Residence with Inside Out Literary Arts Detroit and teaches at Oakland University.




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