In America, it is always
the car and the road, the gun
and the girl, the grasp beating the reach,
the inevitable death in a bank vault.
Between New York and Los Angeles,
I am never at home. Loathsome and impossible
is this country, is its hymns and weird
celebrations. Just detonated
TNT in a safety-deposit chamber;
just had my face shot into
a broken pie in a standoff
with the cops. Void returns like a baseball
season, with its crab-like creep. The gesture
is offensive, but the mood of the nation
might thunder, or might not. The poet will
stargaze and wonder, but the writer thieves
and climbs his way up. On an acoustic
guitar, the strings quiver with
uncoordinated music. It is
the ballad of the Thin Man, Dylan, his bad voice
rubbing two sticks above a flint, his stories
of gypsies reclaiming Americana.
Art by Evie Lovett
Cody Todd is the author of the chapbook TO FRANKENSTEIN, MY FATHER. His poems have appeared in Conduit, The Denver Quarterly, Salt Hill, and The Gettysburg Review. He is also the managing editor and co-creater of the online literary journal, The Offending Adam.