Wednesday, March 09, 2022

New Poetry by Jedediah Smith

Shall We Gather: Beginning with a Line by Kenneth Patchen

See how those stars tramp over heaven,
how vagrant trains below wrestle with dark earth and time. 
And we with vacant eyes sleepwalk 
through the pitiless splendor of the crowds. 

See how jetliners roll drops of blood across the night, 
how cars carry knives from one house to another. 
And we blame rats for the squeaking 
of our bones as we press tighter together. 

You, know nothing; I, know nothing; and they, 
only know that they are not us and never will be.

What if behind the walls of every apartment great black machines are running?
What if the lives we left unlived really dried up long ago and blew away with the ashes 
and dust of wildfires?
What if the glitter of broken bottles on asphalt is all we will ever know of heaven?
What if murder is all we hold to be self-evident, that all murder is equal, that murder 
alone is inalienable from us? And we are not us and never will be?

- © Jedediah Smith 2022

Jedediah Smith works as a freelance writer in the Bay Area of California. His poems and stories have been published in Chiron Review, Midwest Quarterly, and Every Day Fiction. His chapbook of poems, The Gunslinger in Technicolor, came out in 2020. He can be followed on his website:

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