noah blaustein /FRACTURE AND WANT

Image by Richard Selesnick and Nicholas Kahn.

Fracture & Want

Here, the sand on the pavement,
a type of carpet. The where I go
to turn on my quiet. Then, the where
I went to blow things up. In front
of an ocean you’re always a slow
fade. Then, the need to wake Wild
Turkey breathed. Here, no owl,
no whiskey who who? The reds
burn into heliotropes & I become
black silhouette, indistinguishable
from pavement. That decade
returning to that shade & scree
canyon. That bay laurel canyon
& my father’s nude models
placing their thumb prints on my
cerebellum. & want. His earnest
adult students come for something
more from this life, from him,
& that earnest scrub oak light
& earnest nipple shadowing out
of her paisley cotton throw light
I would say something to sound
cool, maybe about Ernst or Schiele –
sycophantic bullshit – and invite
them over later for some “scotch
& tofu.” Here, the quiet I collect.
This evening. Then, I was the slow
fade. Fracture. Those interiors
of LA’s always darkened bars. That
Botticelli model underneath me, the last
of his models. The orange street light
through her thin curtains,
that relentless light collecting
on the sweat between her breasts,
“fuck me from behind” she said
“so you can finish & leave. I want no
part of your ekphrastic bullshit.”

Noah Blaustein has published poems, most recently, in The Cincinnati ReviewThe Chattahoochee ReviewZyzzyvaThe Harvard Review, and Barrow Street. Interviews of him can be found online at The Georgia Review, the Los Angeles Times, and National Public Radio. His book, Flirt, (University of New Mexico Press, 2013) was the first first book ever selected for a tour on the Georgia Poetry Circuit. His anthology, Motion: American Sports Poems was an editors’ pick of the year by the editor’s of National Public Radio and the Boston Globe. The poem published here is from After Party, coming out in 2018 from the University of New Mexico Press.