Three Poems by Gerald Yelle

​Situation Replay

This is the way we fall out of favor and this is how we lose control. 
First there’s a beat to follow. It comes from a touchless 
carwash. A field of clover. Clicking crows, their soft
palates selling five o’clock shadow. Is there nothing we can do?
Going over the long evocations. The amber wavy waves. 
We have these managerial mood swings. 
This oversensitivity to light. Of course we’re always right. 
We could make a career of it. If this is the hard part
we can’t wait to see what the soft stuff looks like. 
We do know what pushed luck looks like. 
Like throwing in the towel. And the sheets. 
And stuffing in the pillow cases. Windows shut. Lights off. 
Birds fed. Stuffed to the gills. We’re especially grateful 
for stuffed gills. It must be genetic –we can easily imagine 
our fathers feeling grateful for the stuffed gills. 
The thought of being stuffed reminds us: we ought to have 
the Bushes for dinner. We’ve got the big house. 
Two prize winning horses.  Let’s ride before we develop some 
new disability. Like one last kiss might someday be.


Mountain in a Hole

It’s like you’re a mountain looking down 
in all directions –It’s all down 
from where you are –and you move like a river. 
You drink lakes dry and dive in anyway 
–sinking all the way to the bottom. 
Your mind –a virtual sink hole –iron filings
ride around its magnetized rim:
And still you take the long view
and think in terms of forests.
And though forests consist of trees
and though only trees making small careful
gestures can even think
of reproducing you never have to worry:
No matter what happens to trees
–whether disease takes them
individually or collectively –or if they up
and leave of their own accord others
will remain –the forest will go on.
And so will you. Your end is so far off
you still can’t see it. And moving
like a river makes you sexy.
And drinking like a lake gets you high.


Power Brokers

Because some half-baked
notions were making children
sick the power brokers 
came in the middle of the night
to say we needed to fix
our oven –saying those
half-baked notions had their
origins here. I showed them
where to sit while they
fixed it. I assumed they were
going to fix it. They said they
were, but not here.
It wasn’t that kind of repair.
They would have to
take the oven with them.
I wanted to argue or
put up some kind of fight
–but the power brokers
–I mean nobody wins against
them. “Can I say something?”
I asked as they wheeled
the oven out. “I’m going
to stick to raw finger food
now on so don’t bother
bringing that shit box back.


Gerald Yelle’s booke are The Holyoke Diaries (Future Cycle Press), Evolution for the Hell of It (Red Dashboard Press), Mark My Word and the New World Order (The Pedestrian Press), and Restaurant in Walking Distance and Everything (Cawing Crow Press). He teaches high school English and is a member of Florence (MA) Poets Society.