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Lawrence Bridges Poetry


By Lawrence Bridges

The ground breeds trees with an itch for air beneath our armor of atmosphere. The sea’s restless swaying so seldom visits land it thinks land’s a beast, a fish so large its scales are windows where my pocket square reflects, flowers on weapons, born to tame, upholding the best of all tides. The soaring thunderheads of smell eclipse rain, snow pebbles, and crunching road under turning tire. We proposed an opera here and built if for the deaf to know the depth of music, to spike frozen notes into rocky ground, to freshen spring of our next year.


No one bothers me. I’m not accountable to anyone. I’m forgotten and happy, not centuries dead but alive, today! I pass unnoticed, driving next to you. I stand on your sidewalk admiring your walnut tree, cataloging the pleasures I never miss while enjoying them. I’m nobody’s somebody, loafing in each day’s summer parts, in a coat with binoculars, on an ocean voyage, with wings. I’m unproductive, never make things, march with bands, hurl morning papers, read in a park, everybody’s nobody.


When I tried to sleep, I slept for a year. When I tried indolence, I withered to sticks, anxious that I could never return to rigor, knowing my notion of work made me a loafer. I disappeared, no forehead, hands, stomach, or nose, no seat for chairs, elbows for desks, feet for floors. I just clawed the air in silence around you. I am your breeze, bird at your window, your morning temblor.


That berg of air out the train window flies south with all my cares. It’s crosswind you don’t hear until you’re in the next lane. Relinquishment, then a forgotten verb. Choose one. Remembers. Reminds. Reprieves. Restores. R is for red. Roar past emotions like shredded paper that doesn’t cling. No wake wallowing. Wait a few days and you’ll have forgotten.


Lawrence Bridges’ poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Tampa Review. He has published three volumes of poetry: Horses on Drums (Red Hen Press, 2006), Flip Days (Red Hen Press, 2009), and Brownwood (Tupelo Press, 2016). You can find him on IG: @larrybridges

The Writing Disorder is a quarterly literary journal. We publish exceptional new works of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and art. We also feature interviews with writers and artists, as well as reviews.


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