Richard Froude’s “Pledge Drive”

by Jen Tynes

Here’s another sneak peek at a poem from our collaborative chapbook PLEDGE DRIVE, which you can order via our Kickstarter project for $10.

Pledge Drive

Richard Froude

Like nothing

broken bottles

on the highway bridge

my dream house

of stickle bricks and lymph

the jetty walled off

by thieves

the sky

when the clinic is quiet

your absence

and all it surrounds

location turned out

as a face occupied

by agency

work undertaken

and memory

clothed into something

more like an argument

I crawled from the swamps

into a new world

of dust

developed and afraid

upon the earth where we

one day build cities

this distance

is your distance

your velocity

the light

a story

the autonomy of beasts

slow down

be savored

in circles

until the bus seats wear thin

decide a measure

by area or population

which roads are

boundaries and which

are thoroughfare

this dumb luck

that we come

to such casual existence

how natural it is

that the towers

are not standing

I want you to feel

all of this

the wrecking ball

the pat on the back

as smart as we know we are

we exploit each other so readily

Like nothing I watch you choke

an invisible man

his flesh first translucent

then solid

and I return to this

over and over

man who is not me

to remember

how intoxicating it is

to do things wrong

to dissolve

into symbols

to drink from swimming pools

piss in the corners

of motel rooms

bleed onto the carpet

for new and better

ways to hurt each other

to name the three rivers that

course around us

the means by which

all songs must arise:

the open ear

the hollow throat

the savage

lenten heart