Three Poems by Letson Williams

there is no sitting still

an injury that did not result in death
well
not the type of death that you mean
the shifting landscape of a sad song
of someone listening
a phone call

nighttime wishing
you are either moving toward
or away from the change
standing still standing in sand
you are still moving
it is still moving
the earth is still moving

there is no sitting still
there’s no nine-nine
no west of fields
no more seven chinese brothers
pure tenor quality
the voice of harold montgomery

no more pretending
that the words mean anything
or are well chosen
well guarded
well meaning
nobody is winning
nobody is winning
there is nosuchthing

which does not mean
there is no right or wrong
you can sing the song
it’s not a question of can or can’t
it’s do or don’t
didn’t you know

i am an impatient man
prefer cake to pie
truth to light
inside to insight
with actual tigers
and intricate daydream designs
in the last of the graylight
last of the wine
summer flower dresses
that let in the light

a joy shared is twice a joy
a sorrow shared is half a sorrow
true today true tomorrow

mine’s day
minion’s day
until the day
in the mines eye of carmelita
the song of chicharita
rose of the desert
the deportees


addiction stands alone

in favor of the behavior
first alone
then afraid
seems so far away

how old was i
how bold was i
saving all that turn around love
for someone not welcome
who only loves
the needle high
full of saline
and salience
racing embracing reticence
reverence
karma and
coincidence

more cocaine can temporarily
remedy
the situation
the conflagration
uncontrollable addiction
affliction
the choice disease
of sons
and daughters
mothers and fathers
hooked on heroin
low taxes and ice-water

tactics can deflect impact
create impasse
understand
how to make glass
in little towns
leaves brown
shade controlled
by small amounts of

doomsdayers
and big money players
who don’t believe a word
they say
just throw that shit out there
to get in your way
to move some cash
over and back
til they got it all
and a heart attack

this fall
we have to find out
if you know
if it shows
which way the wind blows the staylows

catastrophic circumstances
not little ones
this drinkin’s killing me
i need the help
but i still drink from the top shelf

funny thing is
i ended up being addicted
to propane
and recidivism
three months at the minimum

addiction stands alone
ignoring the stigma
the leprosy and
libby zion


pretty girls play the clarinet

she was someone that i used to know
a smile so familiar
seen a hundred times
the nervous laugh was gone though
and

she was old enough to
look like another someone that i knew
the flutist
from alden
with freckles
with child

it took a minute to click we stared
not a lovers stare
not a strangers stare
there was something in there
something in between
kind
but lean
and it was difficult to say who got there first
i think it was me

she thinks it was her

still
she may be the exception
to the townes rule
that yellow headed women
bring nothing but pain
if i have to explain
if you think that thin air
brings fame
you might have not been listening

but
she never caused me any pain
all she ever did
was be the refrain
and i did things
to see the smile
time and again
it was a crush
i’m sure
deft and demure
she liked to show me to her sister
who never understood
but once got the laugh meant for smiley
meant for good
and that day cemented
what could never be heard
because the light eyes
and the real smiles
didn’t need the words


Profile: Letson Williams

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