Four poems by Rob plath

incoming nails

when i was a boy
for a year
my room was
an unfinished attic
from up there
the bloody fights
below were muffled
but still i lay
for hours
on that old narrow
fold-up cot
w/ broken springs
gazing up
between rafters
at incoming nails
& praying to dream
of something soft


one for the lost

the critics will
never take
this knife away

this blade w/ which
i carve
these things

some call them poems
i’m not sure
what they are

& it doesn’t matter
the label
b/c they seem
to save some
of those who are lost
or foaming at the mouth
or so alone
they get vertigo

the critics
will never take
this blade
from my hands
never get me
to quit carving

b/c for all
their sloppiness
for all their
lack of technique
these poems seem
to save a little

& that’s enough for
my hand to never
let go of this knife


over the walls

the nature paintings
my mother hung over
all the fist holes
was too simple a fix
i preferred sneaking
out of my window
& running thru woods
a happy vagabond
blending into shadows
of maples & in love
w/ the rings of oaks

grave hands

i want to sink
both hands
into the wet
of my future
before it sets
& hardens
like those
dish shaped
plaster casts
we made
in kindergarten
for our mother
no name
no date
no epitaph
just palms
w/ cigarette

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