The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®

 

Brendan Sherry

Stations

 

1.

I don't know how relevant
energy is
swirling around a failure

maybe I will work
in this empty house

shame

2.

Desperate the travels
in search
of cemeteries

scatter them and
scatter them all

3.

A gas station in the sun
corn orange
and scouring for lining
would be lonely

were a monument more
than the impulse
much of the place manufactures
and places on posts

4.

Pumps lined like teeth
the red cross emblem

a lone star

the other's referent shaking
as she once said a musician might shake
in the tumbler of a voice

5.

The fields around the house
under them

economical
stoic

the service
stations

6.

The original vehicles moved
from shadow to skin
without fire

for transfer across land
in the wide state
hidden from the corn
our bones are like

7.

In the field
where bankruptcies are
nevertheless visible
to be mourned over

every decoration
on a grave
represents a mistake

8.

Is such a mistake
in the dead
of night to walk
outside

whence the facility
in this station
otherwise dark

was a flue
that would burn
in the morning

9.

Be careful not to want
just quarter

10.

In the activity of collecting
gas station memorabilia

if you search
across rosters of sales
for the sweet spot
ranging from the 1930s
to the 1950s

expensive as parts are
you break even
in a day

11.

There is a turn of mind
that saved me

it would be productive
to shift this station
without profit

pump the front door
into the rain puddles
rainbowed
to an era never so
fiercely protective
as they are of bones

12.

No advertisement
outside of those witnessing
are so greeted
with redresses and disclaimers

go on in
you will encounter the mass

13.

Impossible
the edges of a person

jagged and silly
they project outward
into the dark that surrounds the road

14.

Ancient dark stole
at great speed into the unlit
parts of the country

the driver might fall asleep

but lights which have gone
too long will wake
at the rainy edge of the place

15.

Certain others
might come in a dream
to take us up the ridge

and say
this is how you should
have handled me

you never should have joked
like that
or
remember how kind
the night was

16.

How fires were lit
and you would go
in the back

to turn off the lights
and watch the dryers
spin the linens

the speaker
you would never meet

17.

In hand
a country does not exist
but is buffered in the space
between the traveler
and the street

18.

The safest harbors
of the past
were full of their own
bankruptcies

memories more invented
than fled

19.

So wide and green
the place lay out for consumption

so graves lined up
in the grass and corn

the space beneath us is filled
with bodies

20.

The various states
and attitudes
that we sometimes use
on the floors above
our heads

rectangles of air

a whole city of strangers
keeping
in a way that would be arbitrary
except that comfort
draws them to sleep

21.

It is a house
which has its facade
and its windows
addressed
to those who register
memories of fire

this is where the end
of a long straight road
years ago terminated
in an overgrown river

and maybe too
there were signs of the house
we keep breaking

and the advertisement
which is the organ
encountered

after half of a death
has been finished

22.

Be intact
float in focus
fear leaving home

23.

Every sign
even as it secures us past
the dark through which we hurry

remains stationed
beneath the weight of all
that artwork

24.

In the summer
it would have been tall

we saw it
when it was a cemetery

a sunny ridge
with stones named
for the correctness
of their bedding

25.

Working a falsehood
in infancy
now conceived

the history of
burial

26.

Kind to change

good to say
where we stood

together
in rows and rows
of stones

and now
we have encountered
the place again

mournful what unites us
is still the weeds
we pulled
and divided aloud

27.

What kind of structure
did a mind advertise

in the days before it was used
to seeing the ethanol
content of every gallon
of gasoline
pumped into the tank

a young man stood
under the awning
of a filling station

a friend hung from a pipe
in the basement
of his house

the song was sean south
the thought less
close

28.

Could eternity tank
in a far country

the gratitude
would be unknown
to anyone
who has never been naked
in its geography

29.

Our debt will accept
no hidden corners

it stands in the cemetery
like a plastic pinwheel

and beyond it
what morning
rises over
is replicated from tassels

30.

The house
the roof curls up
was drafted
in penitentiary lines
which abused our memories
of harvest

every gallon transmitted
from there
dialed up notes
like the neums
of a prayer

31.

We can never
find greater hope
than what grass
offsets

32.

The spinning
engine
set up on wooden stilts
and driven to travel

the measure
embedded
in our own stones

nothing counter to the purpose
of plain decoration

or long pieces of animal
bloodying the woman
who beat it into lines
and laid it in the air

the stones of a calendar
knocked into petals

economical
quiet dots on an open plain
without any real gradation

a swaddle
except that the guards
rowed up

a vital lot
to send and finish
the mud drive

33.

Run across
with snowmelt

the pre spring
lost in its clothing

 

 

 

The American Journal of Poetry is pleased to introduce BRENDAN SHERRY’s first publication of poetry.

 

 

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