Project Description

Three Poems

by TYLER GILLESPIE

 

heartbroken scientists lament the likely loss of ‘most of the world’s coral reefs’

 

A god swallowed the ocean. Lifted the seafloor
& chugged like a frat boy   with cheap

beer.   Lapped up all  the starfish    & coral  & mermaids

& monsters. Forgot His manners.  Stuck His face in it.

Crushed the can on His forehead.          Stepped  on a cloud
to take a leak.   Grew lonely.   Created a new galaxy

because after you’ve drunk  the ocean   there’s nothing

left to do. I didn’t watch this god  swallow  the ocean:
Difference between my hands & the sea.  I’m a tiny

man  who sits  in a room   thinks about waves  & whales
& how the last time   I saw you:    You had just set sail

to another land. I didn’t think to ask you why
before you pulled the anchor   up from me.

 

 


 

 

a sperm whale that washed up on a beach in spain had 64 pounds of plastic & waste in its stomach

 

When I have this much

anxiety

 

I remind myself:

teeth

 

are exposed bone.

 

Tongue, muscular.

Heart similar

 

but not the same,

which makes

me feel better

 

for some reason.

I write this poem

 

after I Google

“How to

 

Get Over a Break Up.”

 

Listen to Kelly Clarkson

sing: breathe for the first time.

 

Reddit tells me holding

on to a bad relationship

 

is disrespectful to yourself.

 

& the earth is on fire.

The ocean is not

 

a metaphor

 

but a place

 

where everything

 

& all of us will

one day

 

end up

inside

 

the belly of a whale.

 

***

 

[“a sperm whale that washed up on a beach in spain had 64 pounds of plastic & waste in its stomach” borrows its title from a CNN article]

 

 


 

 

more than 700 north american bee species are headed toward extinction

 

The mechanic dares me    to eat
a bee trapped in motor oil. I’d heard

they’d started to disappear, an epidemic.
Earlier that fall    Mom died in her sleep,

so I wore her nightgown   underneath
my clothes. Found good work at a car

shop near home. Robert left. Called my
grief too much    too ugly a thing. Said it’s

clear there’s grease in my nature. I’d always
admired bees  how they sting then fall to earth.

That’s conviction. An exhilarating way to live!
The mechanic dares me to eat a bee trapped

in motor oil. For 20 bucks & a Coke. Feel
slick wings on my tongue. I pray for its sting.

 

***

 

[“more than 700 north american bee species are headed toward extinction” borrows its title from a Time article]