October 31, 2016

One poem by David Tuvell

12th Round Boxing Theory

So you started drinking
again? Well, I started writing, and one 
of us is a fool. So according to 
the best laid plans of mousy men, 
and for all intensive purposes, 
I write our requiem.

Summer slips away this time, all mimosas 
on idle noons. The sun boils fight and desire to a syrup. 
Carpenter bees bump into us, fat on porch wood, 
ignoring or ignorant of our rocking in blue, weathered chairs. 
Squash grows shoulder-high, and the fridge is flush 
with Jamaican Red Stripe. Locusts never haunt us.

“Your invention doesn't do anything,” we complain.
“It's as if death is to be mankind's achievement.
Plus, death’s visage seems severe, like a scorned
drug dealer, or a home ec. teacher,
and everyone's left with the composer's tragedy:
a lifetime of would-be speech muffled into Einstein on the Beach.”

We're in the market for muscle memory, for days 
we can figure out purely from context. We want to hear that punk 
band Degenerate that we never started with that beautiful boy 
whose Escher tattoo was drawing itself, to drink
all that wine. But no, you can never find the lovely ones
the day after, when you remember to remember.

We have to hear Karen's words forever:
Feeling froggy? 
Shh. C'mere. 
Dismantle and 
You might need me tomorrow.

And we know that her poetry is the final band 
playing the Titanic, 
and that everything’s fine
until dignity becomes a luxury. 
She was just a Vietnam. 
We were an American Embassy.

There's nothing for you here, Karen. It's amazing 
what can end up as okay. One day we'll all get fresh
tattoos. We'll steal time to read each other's minds in silence. 
Then you can drink all the wine. It was never up to us. 
Something did happen. It left marks, bestial and copper.
Somewhere there's a dartboard scored with dreams and hypodermic needles.

You’ll find that here it's easier to be a criminal than a victim, 
and easier still to be both. You’ll find us talking about doing 
something---self-indulgent, and sad all the time.
So cheer when we die, because we're the bad guys.
With no time, no idea, and no excuse,
we're the excitable morons who loudly misspell salvation.

DAVID TUVELL has written poems for the /New Orleans Review/, /The Steel Toe Review/, NYU's /Minetta Review/, KSU’s /Share/, /Eyedrum Periodically/, and other publications. His English B.A. comes from Kennesaw State University, and he studied substantially at the University of Florida. Outside of poetry, his path has been quite various, and he's made his way through things like software engineering, information science, and labor.

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