Monday, June 16, 2014

Not Dark Yet / Tonight / Out There In The Sun


James Babbs continues to live and write from the same small Illinois town where he grew up.  He has published hundreds of poems over the past thirty years and, more recently, a few short stories.  James is the author of Disturbing The Light(2013) & The Weight of Invisible Things(2013).


Not Dark Yet

all day long I felt cold
kept pulling the hood of my sweatshirt
tighter around my head
but I never could seem to get warm
so the leftover vegetable soup
I brought home from my sister’s
earlier in the week
sounds pretty good tonight
I’ve got some crackers and
one bottle of wine
but I don’t have any beer
on my way home from work
I was thinking about
stopping and getting some
but decided I didn’t need it
not tonight anyway
I stir the soup with a plastic spoon
put the crackers on the table
before glancing out the window
I don’t see anything out there
earlier today
I drove past a cluster of
rusting farm wagons
abandoned near an empty field
and it reminded me of something
but now
I can’t remember what it was


Tonight

I’ve been drinking again
stumbling around the house
going from room to room
watching inanimate objects
changing into cartoons and
I go to the basement
because I hear noises and
I know someone’s down there
waiting for me in the dark
when I turn the light on
at the bottom of the stairs
she laughs at me
while I try to tell her
how beautiful she looks
reaching for her
lunging at her
but I fall against the couch
the carpet’s blue down here and
it reminds me of water
sometimes I know exactly
how it feels when you drown
I look around
but she’s already gone and
I remember one time
having a dream like this
floating on the surface
not knowing how it would end


Out There In The Sun

I no longer write poems
I no longer feel inspired
I just sit here at the kitchen table
listening to the radio
sometimes
I work crossword puzzles
trying to keep the words close
most of the time nothing happens
and I sit here waiting
drinking coffee and whiskey
while out there in the sun
the black cat prowls the grass
along the edge of the field
stalking some invisible prey
all the way to the end


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