Poetry By Daniel McCraw

Poetry By Daniel McCraw

C America

we’re headed north of somewhere

someone please pickpocket a picture         what’s better 

than friends and family and fictions 

telling where they’ve been               there is old rusted metal 

& familiar cracked 

pavement which will be our guide           tonight       no room

for failure here  

can you see america where you breathe

polish the tungsten                             burn 

the paper torn                                     we’ve got what we 

came here for                                      i’m not staring

ahead to rear view mirrors anymore                  can’t stop 

me now                                                        take turn too sharp 

too fast 

two ways to arrive everywhere                             we’ve picked 

the long road paths seem 

turn and twist-off                                            we’ve missed every gas station from here 

to romulus 

can you see america from where you prayed 

cigarette smoke shined incandescent on the scene neon bulbs would burst

and flash fluttered same time

in recollection              tires tore and rubber melted          trailer 

parks taken away from where they were 

made                             what’s a better metaphor for yourself 

could not turn away from the 

pileup                       [our] bodies met tonight in 

motel room aways away from 

where we grew up         drank plenty of water 

the desert 

beat down and everywhere 

drumheads tore if you weren’t careful

can you see america from where you’ll shine

i don’t yet recall the silver 

mill or gradient lands all brown 

and red but jesus there must 

be everything here                   you’ll drink your worth in a place 

unknown to those with power but we 

will do anything if 

we got enough (x2)                 stouthearted teeth and tattooed arms will rip 

chords and tides and tomb-heads

all the same                             i don’t yet know the town 

                                                my son will be 

                                                born in but I know 

                                                it’s beautiful 


Baby Feet
on the beach: here
today and gone
tomorrow we have got

to go running
jog on sandpaper and let our souls
get ground down into flattened 

edges the tide will eventually erase
all traces of

we will revisit the spots where
we grew up around the fractured pavement track
surrounding our middle school’s
football fields of endless chatter in a high school 

lunchroom where we first learned
that being surrounded by people doesn’t mean you
can’t get lonely 

our baby feet printed
like hollow images shotgunned against a mirror

stolen from homes and cleaned up real nice
they have faded into a
for all intents and purposes
infinite sea

we can retrace this projected path
create full grown printed
molecules of sediment, save little snails
burrowing close to the Earth’s warmth at its center

i will not photograph the sunsets any longer, i will instead
pierce the untapped retinas with the purchases of a perhaps 

maybe God first loved the human
race because we were presented in his image
little constellations staring
back at him through an upside down
fractured mirror reflecting
a meaning of the life

maybe maternal grandmothers aren’t supposed
to be in your life
maybe they are 

supposed to succumb to the shadow

see themselves for just a glimpse
in the shining mirror of your life
view through a crack their own creation

twice removed from their hips
via natural birth and c-section [in that order]

reckon there’s still time enough to see a candle
flicker from a hundred miles away
on this pier touched by golden
sunlights seen by the coasts, young and recklessly
bursting forth from a chest 

the last flash of green before we are set
down to reflect on the lives we have
led when we recall that
there are some silences that do not need to be filled

this is one
moment amongst a
for all intents and purposes

infinite place of pictures and headless
fish, snails and serpents, pine
cones and pirate mini-
golf courses 

my soul is sharp and the places
i’ve been have been refracted until the fracture resembles that
of a perfect sea, we have a way
of adjusting ourselves back right

here my mind is awake in the fullness of
a single image: the pier
at night reflected by an almost
imperfect body of water 


45 in Columbus

cross the border 

consider a blemished girl seated
somewhere with a sadness
painted upon her face 

as if it’s easy to disconnect  
scars trailing the blood- 
veins and skull-headed seekers of circumspection  

wherever we go, please let there be a Walmart

headlights like eyes seeking
some are just born blind
bathed new light dawn
we take first breath puffed red
cheeks we will never view 

in a mirror while they grow into strong jawlines
the lineage of our fathers present

every time we crack a joke
there's a glass jar full of blanked  

scraps of paper perforated with perfect sizes
and smiles and eyes that
seem to say "yes we do have
it made here"
locked inside a tin-can with ten hands

clawing the metal walls from
the outside in, there’s one
thought: how can I make the most of this
you must dance with some fire under 

your feet, at least sparks in
your belly, hot coals in
your lungs, July 4th sparklers in
your larynx let everybody know no one dilutes 

the water we wade in 

we will crack jaws/pop backs until
seated on right side of the tracks with the king who left
we are who we were meant to become

there ain't one thing worse
than complacency round here ‘cept
for the saving grace of gospel-like degrees of wealth

there are more bars than schools, auto
shops paint the half-tinted by exhaust scene and a cough
you seem to be seizing
the new environment well you seemed to
mean welcome when you spoke
but all that came was 

come into the land lacking look well upon the hand
that fed you fo(u)r generations you eat from
crummy chain seafood place to crummy chain burger place

there's a laundromat with magic and
miracles canceling out every
negative thought you've taken since you
crossed the border
this night will not be remembered 

as pleasant or worth the tank but you stop and think

about all the people, don't tell me 

it wasn't beautiful


Daniel McCraw is a student at the University of Alabama. He has written primarily works of poetry but also dabbles in fiction. More of his writing can be found at www.asojournersmusings.wordpress.com



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