everyman

for john rybicki

everyman looks like my father
hunched in a shadow conducting rush-hour traffic
at 5:11 when the cops arrive
he puts the gun to his head

pull the loose thread
the planet unravels
yank a nail from a wall
the son tumbles through space

so many fathers I’ve collected
giants limping across a yard
spinning magic tricks in the half-light
insisting that dreams are stallions you have to ride bareback

their umbilicals protrude 
from starched white shirts & blood-stained leather
frayed cords trailing into open space

I float through a bullet hole in the rafters
hoping to kill or at least gather a meal 
before the next confluence of father in flesh & father in sky
that commingling that always seduces me
into a tragedy that has no bottom

everyman after everyman
sporting his dull hatchet & broken talking stick
father after father
with the nerve to claim me as his own

 

 

 John Amen is the author of four collections of poetry: Christening the Dancer, More of Me Disappears, At the Threshold of Alchemy, and The New Arcana (with Daniel Y. Harris). His work has appeared in numerous journals nationally and internationally and been translated into Spanish, French, Hungarian, Korean, and Hebrew. He founded and continues to edit The Pedestal Magazine (www.thepedestalmagazine.com).

 

John Amen
John Amen is the author of four collections of poetry: Christening the Dancer, More of Me Disappears, At the Threshold of Alchemy, and The New Arcana (with Daniel Y. Harris). His work has appeared in numerous journals nationally and internationally and been translated into Spanish, French, Hungarian, Korean, and Hebrew. He founded and continues to edit The Pedestal Magazine (www.thepedestalmagazine.com).

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