Jared Schickling

VACANCY

instead of a preface
what a poem
as weather can do so
why wish it
in the chair
on anyone
why kids will cry so
unnecessarily and
all over
regardless
unnecessary so
who can say
what news can do

1

cutting into steak newsflash my tent is gone
my tent is gone he looks like a cop so
write in the dark my tent is gone
my tent is gone lets smoke out front
local authors my tent is gone so
write butchers’ tales
my tent is gone
in the log cabins sold my tent is gone
tourists from the city my tent is gone
snowbirds my tent is gone
my tent is gone and such

2

was there any depth to it at all rus
kin, so they say, I paid a little for a lot
mouth of the lake like a mirror
where never’s no wind so
when we say
she’s in trouble too much
know
she is three so
me
drawing a line
in sand
for the tent
for consequence so
actually, should have
drawn more of them so
porous
perimeter
it’s rainy
as they say
cheap
in a motel so
my tent is gone
nothing here to prove

3

emotions mixed like primary colors so
live
by enjambment theft
adirondack chair perched
on a motel
after this kid is bathed
her beer and smoke so
racine’s
crayons
in the pines here resemble
in quarter moon crescents from rock
in a painting by day
theater and lake strand
where there is nothing especially so
real in my poems
minus the syllables so
in a wife’s underwear
but the distant ridges
in half moon crescents
not so far away
by kayak, they lie so
but not really
it’s me, see, up here so
looking down there
where they lock up
my pool at night

4

I’m a mid-day mower so
as they say, not nearly mean enough
pamphlet in the making
notebook will
be so
dry
as I am, lake
mist off the mountain
in me, old forge
kid and the one
you don’t name, so behind me
or in the front there so
in their bed
a fishery to our right left
municipal beach to our left right
where my music plays so
crayons
a fawn is trapped there
in the fence, motel terrace so
below me
and smack-dab in the middle of here
my pencil
so
it meant nothing, at all
(don’t I know it)
to the duck so
and her ducklings an osprey
circled

5

earlier so
from this roof—until you’re under
this world spins you
don’t
write it so
a whole lot
of nothing
quick down vacations end so
everywhere
when the alarm goes off
in the ears so
that bug cop
his daughter’s
bites are huge—so up here don’t
we know it

6

itches you wood so
hear of it of course how
these cartoons get lovely
coming in through the screen so
salt in the pines and all the blood
ever been here
your family was prepared so
the girl lasted six days
my tent is gone

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