Jordan Stempleman (Kansas, USA): Three Poems


Some sun spots, the old ones, sound of
defeated clouds. Too violent,
they’re finally told. Too piled in for the sunset
to see the midwinter turn away
medicated, unscented, however they prefer
to turn away. This is a near obsession
of the present, self-stored, hoping much later
to say what it is. I have no idea what’s to become
of the terrible places that never once
thought of themselves as terrible places.
The deal of the animate was to keep moving
in the stratum of take your pick, then time
to time the leaving. Once with one arm shorter
than the other, oaf of perfect nose. I like
that you heard me. It seems that you heard me.


I am facing the fanciful yellow of how I pan out.
A common dream: I am thinking eyeholes, if provided
mixed reactions to pre-summer light, and late summer light,
couldn’t do any more with what they’re asked to wipe away
before morning, even if real eyeballs were bounced
from a dark velvet bag straight into my head.
I am preceded by a sign, near-wooden
that begins, dash-dash, apple, yuck, faraway,
faraway, nasty, come here.
Behind the capability of a new design, there’s a raggedy
drift, this is true, from such a place that forgets
I am the terrible host, and I am lazy and allowed to stare
in a descending pitch at all who arrive late
and are willing to live.
Do I, take you, to love all the symptoms of the earth,
even as we lose our long hours and relative loves?
It’s about time we dig. I’m coming to
as slowly as I began.


I have one cold dish of something
that wouldn’t be caught dead in pants.
And the gray, I remind myself, is the business
of the subtle forgetting, of where you lead,
without thinking, I’m stretching it
now, really, it’s in the narrowing flail
that makes the good technique. Dope.
Why, as a basis, isn’t there a moment
or one moment to go?
I will care to occur for as long as I’m doubled
over, see the size of this, playing along with the that
that I won’t ever see. But the zoo, come on,
sigh. I mean the species, nothing but,
that refuse our attention.

© Jordan Stempleman 2008