Home PageArchivesVolume no. 5Issue 1Poetry: Michael Robins

The World to Come

Michael Robins

 
 
1.

I was, I am coming
with meats & bread

We saw the movies
& basements—

                            Here
a jukebox & tables
 

Here, I offended
my shirt in that
I wore it again…

I am hurrying home
 
 

2.

Take down the tree
& make more sky

Ten—
           Nine—
                        Eight

 

Take down the tree
& make more sky

Seven—
               Six—
                         Five

 

Take down the tree
& make more sky
 
 

3.

Knew so many bars
even then—

                       I should
be fallen & promise to
better love friends
 

That tree was too big

Four—
            Three—
                          Two

 

Lost, nearly, in rivers,
drove too often away
here I am—

                      I am
coming home & alive

 
 
 

People Live Here

Michael Robins

 
 
1.

Of shelter I sought
new form—

                      Ledge
where we’d marry,
travel for a city…

This time, no in-laws
 

I see us out windows,
so many shot—

Many gathering stone
 

I discount frowning
‘til no one stops
 
 

2.

Then, we’d undress
as soon did the trees

Umpteenth already…
 

Accumulated & indeed
yes, too many people
unhappy
                 today
                            already

Wiping my glasses
don’t help—

                      Rains
rubbing off our skin

& newspapers tell me
how many, overnight—
 
 

3.

Lewis & Clark were
overheard, dis-
                           uh-

pointed backwards,
maggots in the meat

Trees & plastic bags
 

I am not an adventure
inside this weather—

The passenger leaving
days for landscapes
 

Or else I am thrilled
just to be awakened

 
 
 

Renewal

Michael Robins

 
 
1.

Like each of us she
was born—

                     Begun
left, begun in breath
 

No easy alteration
procuring those
we’ll love

                  Our own
occurring lives uproot
the we we deemed…

smartless, apparently
accurate & newborn
 

A susceptible idiom
 
 

2.

Before a speeding bus
you become less future
 

One greets becoming
a no one—

                      Lullaby
& new responsibility
 

Potted without cascade
nor stay—

                   Leaning &
over the hill or left…
 

Look inside the mug
spanning months
& imagine—

                       Molted
& this much a renewal
 
 

3.

The neighbor I hate
lets music, music

I wish I owned
fill the air—
 

Might as well deploy
prairies—

                  Yesterday,
seizing it with her fists,
she discovered a foot
 

& I thought a worker
hugging that tree—
 

not hanging a sign…

not declaring ruin
 
 
Michael Robins author photo
Michael Robins is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently “Ladies & Gentlemen” (Saturnalia Books, 2011) and “In Memory of Brilliance & Value” (Saturnalia, 2015). He teaches literature and creative writing at Columbia College Chicago.

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