I travel by boat. I let the sea hit me in the face.
I read pages that are crispy. I turn them again.
Again. Again. I plumb the margins. I drink brown drinks
in Scottish rooms that are small and brown. But
this here is the same. Rooms are sequences. I hear fiddles.
They pluck like the wires in men’s mustaches
are wiry. When they turn upwards they are antennas.
When they turn down they are heavy hands. Do not
I tell rural friends to try living in cities.
You become a little square nook. Glasgow was the
most angular city of them all. Slowly. Slowly
things are meant to get done. In between bars and the cracks
around the stones in the streets. I am foam. I am something that bubbles
and is slowly blown off. I’m big. A clunky square waiting to be pressed on.
I take manuscript by manuscript down by the banks of the Clyde river.
I relinquish myself to my knees. I tear each one and vomit.
With enough time to reflect. Then auto-reflect. My unwired.
My signal waiting for a signal. The countryside is mulled and pressed.
Juices strained back in. Guts. Haggis again. Try this, rural friend. Made into
something brown. Pulpy. Serialize your ideas. Between
storefronts. I have watched. This I read.
Scotland is shaped like two lungs, a digestive system, and a remote.
I climb the hill behind a school in Glasgow.
Scotland’s air, gray stone architecture.
it’s quite a view up there. The needy sea.
The man-made peers bordering the warehouses. When
it’s this everywhere it’s the end.
And factories. The tubes poking. the wire chicken
weathervane. A broken tin frame versus
the static of the clouds. Dark grays behind light grays.
The antennae up there. It’s like this
Russell Jaffe is a graduate of the MFA in Poetry program at Columbia College, where he also taught Writing and Rhetoric and Enhanced Composition. He was a recently displaced Chicagoan living in New York, and now resides in Iowa City. He is the founder and editor of the poetics blog O Sweet Flowery Roses, and is also a professional wrestling journalist. His poems have appeared in Ariel, Word Curves, The Archive, and Columbia Poetry Review.
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