Cancel my noise with headphones. Celtic Requiem. I know by how you flinch.
Never a lie. Never a sound. Lovingly, you clear our history
And turn the computer off, as if done betraying. Is this the part where
The children of the chorus, thin angels, taunt
Listeners with ‘Jenny Jones is dead’ as if the little girl were wicked
And melted in water? Girls don’t melt, I think you know. And men, all say, should not.
But I am quotidian water lapping beneath your concrete dam, your ear.
You’ve changed. A rare internal nod, quarter time
With anger and smiles. Sleater Kinney saying it: “You’re no Rock n Roll Fun”,
Which I never hear and you won’t stop listening. I’m on the silent side,
Subliming depths; a forest where fish settle nests
Abandoned by songbirds and, yes, there’s a silt of cadavers where divers tread.
Nobody reads these poems. They hate in America when poetry
Coagulates life. Your vein’s beat, flow, is danceable. A Glass experiment.



Hands on my stuffed gut, watching overhead
Dozens of acrobats, harlequins,
Hang and twist. She wines me
Bleary with worries of

Frozen in mid-thought, middle distance air:
Bankruptcy, children, divorce and men,
Swinging naughts. Her whispers
Counsel retreat from my
Distant air.

Satisfied, she sips the brim of my ear,
Watches the mock executions twirl.
Motley spandex catsuits.
The cack-hand tambourine
Of my ear.




Michael Odom is the author of Boredom, Vice and Poverty and the chapbook Strutting, Attracting, Snapping. He is seeking a publisher for his translations from Catalan of poems by Joan Maragall and Lluís Roda. His poetry has been published in the literary journals, Clean Well-Lighted Place, The Henniker Review, In Posse, Pucker up, Watershed, and others, as well as two anthologies, Between the Leaves and Ritual Sex. Between 1989 until recently, he was a bookseller, Manager, and Buyer for both independent and chain bookstores. If you shopped for poetry at the Tower Books in Chico, CA, or Manhattan, in the early 90’s, you browsed the titles Michael Odom selected to have on sale in that store. The same is true in the final 7 years of A Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books in San Francisco (which went out of business before the unrelated journal of similar title began) and Windows on the World in the Sierra foothills. As a single father with bookstores closing all around, Michael Odom pursued and recently received his MFA in Poetry from New England College.