2 POEMS by CL Bledsoe

January 9, 2016 by RJ

Huffing Potpourri While Listening to Tool


I didn’t realize I would never love anyone
as much as I loved you then, damaged

and stoned as you were but surrounded
by light. Your sex tasted perfect, salty

and sweet, blood and mud; it’s not something
I can put into words. I didn’t know

what whole was, but I wanted you safe,
smiling, far away from those
who could hurt you like I would.



The One-Eyed King’s Lament


I’m sure they weren’t all psychopaths. Most
were probably just cowards, with no room
in their vacant minds for anyone not born

broken. Mother, a screaming shadow, father, drunk
in a field somewhere; I had no one to warn me
how rough the knuckles of idiocy could grow

from all that dragging. I was soft, looking to smile
in the rain and swim in the snow while they plopped
on the couch for the weather report. I wanted to think

I won because I got away, but every time I see
their graves on a map, my ears burn, my nostrils
twitch. Not even their worms remember me.



CL BLEDSOE is the author of the young adult novel Sunlight, three poetry collections, _____(Want/Need), Anthem, and Leap Year, and a short story collection called Naming the Animals. A minichap, Texas, was recently published by Mud Luscious Press. His story, “Leaving the Garden,” was selected as a Notable Story of 2008 for Story South’s Million Writer’s Award and his story “The Scream” was selected as a Notable Story for 2010. He’s been nominated for the Pushcart Prize 5 times and Best of the Webs twice. Bledsoe has written reviews for The Hollins Critic, The Arkansas Review, American Book Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Prick of the Spindle, and elsewhere.

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