Asheville poetry

All posts tagged Asheville poetry

A Love Letter to Pat Robertson

Published August 1, 2015 by April Fox

The lights are on in your great glass house
but there’s nothing there to see.

Your eyes are glued to the man next door,
face pressed against his window in a gruesome caricature,
bulging against the panes, lashes wet with lust and your palms
nailed tight
to the cross
you wear like a brace
to straighten out
your prejudice

and the holes bleed out, slick sweat and muddy feet and the ones below
are drinking
from the filthy wounds
like turning vomit
into wine.

You are the keeper of everything;
you are the arbiter of every
sinful thrust

and your disciples gather close and wait
for the baptism to start.



Published July 30, 2015 by April Fox

And in this sorrow,

we create ourselves:

faces sketched in dull graphite, erased and drawn again

until the lines are blurred and the edges

of our eyes

are indistinct 

and the creases of our mouths

are parentheses, capturing 

all the things we never said. 

In this sorrow, we are written 

indelible and clear

we are paragraphs, connected

We are stories left to tell. 

Scene from a Dive Bar

Published July 20, 2015 by April Fox

The whores are dancing
in sensible shoes
to the beat of the songs that they loved
in their youth

Once upon a time, they might have been pretty.

Open-mouthed, scanning the room, looking for something they’ve lost
they are better loved than all of us
they are tired
and want to go home.


Toll Bridge

Published July 10, 2015 by April Fox

I think you might have dropped this here.

I think you might have left these things behind, stuck to the bottom of your shoe

and fallen off, or caught on a tiny piece

of lint inside your pocket, and let go

when you took a dollar out

to pay the toll.

I think you might have have felt it go,

without even knowing what it was

felt a little tug against your heart

as it blew over

the side

of the bridge.

I think you might have closed your eyes

thought you saw a memory, there

a tiny piece of history, there

long enough ago that it means

almost nothing, now

long enough ago that it meant

everything, before.

I think you might have said goodbye

paused for just a second, there

mid-sentence you trailed off

gathered thoughts and carried on

left it there for someone else

to find

and tuck away

inside a pocket

of their jeans

next to a dollar bill,

crumpled up

and waiting for the toll.

Paper Doll Nightmare

Published June 9, 2015 by April Fox

Such a lonely boy, sitting in the corner

pulling off the heads

from all your little dolls

twisting up their limbs like rubber bands,

angry that you never had

the strength you need to break them

Poking holes in fragile skin, stabbing orifices raw

They are headless spewing bile

from their bitter brains

Even bruised, decapitated


you make them sick

and in the middle of the night,

while you lie dreaming in the dark,

fat chins suffocating

choking out your breath,

they will be stitched together, artificial hearts

and iron lungs to stay alive and they will visit you

and they will crawl inside

and make you



Published May 31, 2015 by April Fox

He brings me books:

A biography of Elvis Costello;

a notebook from 1932, filled with careful script:

a schoolgirl’s notes on history;

Tom Perotta

and the like.

He sings to me when I can’t sleep,

tells me stories about bars and hidden tables

talks me safely toward the morning,

through the dark. 

He sits across from me

while I read and peel an orange,

an ordinary waking, but still I catch him watching

like I made the sun come up. 


Blackberry Winter

Published May 24, 2015 by April Fox

Blackberry winter, they call it

riding in on the backs of the long, hot days of early summer

creeping up your arms and legs

like ticks

to suck the life from you

and the breeze is a violent embrace, and the moon is pale

and thin

and the light from the stars is always an illusion

but it’s uglier, more obvious tonight

Underfoot, the grass is sharp

and stings your nose with mint

and the chill crawls through your veins

like Valium.  

In Spring

Published May 19, 2015 by April Fox

In the spring,

when everything began to grow,

we sat in a field of green and yellow

spinning dreams about the future.

Yours was set in stone, and I was there

Mine was outer space and I was waving at you

far below, a thousand miles away.

In the spring,

when everything began to grow,

I counted backward days and threw up

all of my childhood

My future set in stone and yours a quickly scribbled postscript

to a tale you couldn’t write.

In the spring,

when everything began to grow,

I watched you die

counted lines etched in your jaundiced skin

and breathed the scent of giving up

with every word you spoke

I held our son and said good-bye,

your future set in stone, a gift

given to yourself.

In the spring,

when everything began to grow,

I sat in a field of green and yellow,

spinning dreams of the future

drinking coffee from a plastic cup

counting birdsongs, making pictures from the clouds

grateful, every second

for everything you left to me.


Drawing Lines

Published May 19, 2015 by April Fox

I am drawing lines

on the dark

in silver sparkle markers and fluorescent yellow

crayons, dragging brushes through the stories

that I took too long to tell,

painting I am not

the end of this

all over everything. 

I am not, have never been

the pounding heart, the arms and legs 

gone numb

have never been the broken parts

the bruises

not the fear, or the locking out

the speeding cars

the screaming in my ears till I went deaf

and dumb

and stupid

I am not a thing made of

your sick and ugly pieces. 

I am painting over


I am sitting in the dark

looking out

drawing all the stories

that I thought I’d never tell. 


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