My Poetry

Poetry by Eliot Jacobson

The Future of Rain

Hilary brought mom and dad
from Ashland
where for the last decade
they’d been useful in her home
as bookends and paperweights–
we scattered them on a hillside
mom’s wish
at the junction of two toppled redwoods
in Founder’s Grove above
the West fork of the Eel River
then covered them with pine needles
without ceremony or song
to be washed by storms to come
carbon atom by carbon atom
down the hillside into the Eel River
and from there to the Pacific–
mom and dad
rising as seeds of incandescent rain
finding their way into the water
I might use someday
to make my morning coffee
which I may drink with cream and sugar
or maybe black
unable to decide if I should read
the New York Times or
plant chrysanthemums.

Wild Flamingos

We caught a ride in an eighteen-wheeler on our
way to the Rainbow Gathering in New Mexico.
She was a fruititarian named Carrie
who was sure that harmonic convergence
was going to happen at noon on 7/7/’77
and give us all the power to fly.

We slept on bare ground in a parking lot
at a Bluegrass music festival in Southern Idaho
and dreamed of lifting off with the flamingos,
two million of us, circling over Lake Eyasi,
soaring together in crystal naked pink flight.

The next morning we woke up covered by
a blanket left by a stranger, our wings clipped short.
She gave me her medicine pouch and a feather
and told me that salt marshes just weren’t her thing
then left me for a banjo player named Moonstone.

And now, I am searching for the flamingo
hiding in this keyboard, pink from shrimp,
button eyes, standing tip-toe on one leg,
I think I may have seen it last Tuesday,
hitchhiking somewhere around the semi-colon
or ampersand.

Shopping for Godot

There are seventeen brands of water
on sale at Trader Joe’s and I’m thinking
Smart Water infused with
lavender essence, zero parts per billion,

because I want to be smart,
and lavender sounds like a Spring meadow—
lovers and their children,
being chased by bees

all the times I ran and how good
I got at running
at eating

grass-fed free-range
environmentally enlightened beef
with an e-Coupon
redeemable for negative karma

gluten free organic non-GMO Gala apples
each handcrafted by a wild
Arizona mustang’s bastard Kachina-child.

It’s such a relief to be healthy again.

My eyes stare Hubble-blue at you.
I’m four inches taller than Jesus.
My abs are six-pack pop-top aphrodisiacs.

Oh my love,
with eight reasons to doubt me,
forget your list and
help me carry these heavy bags.

Poe’s Law

I got food stamps under my dog’s name— Rosie.
Her signature was tough to read but she licked like no other.

A man with a big nose and glasses sticking out his tongue: 8^P
You left me alone at the airport with $200 and 3 shirts.

I stole cable TV and traded it with my neighbor for lemons.
They were small and moldy; I picked the best ones.

The head of a duck smoking a cigarette: o<=~
Quackola, quack-a-roo-be-doo! Let’s all swim in our shit.

The fool of clubs, the naked hangman, the rape of the virgin—
I can’t wait to use the sarcastic blinky emoji again.

That way when you think I am calling you an idiot
you will understand I am really saying how brilliant you are.

Love in a Box

When we were eighteen
we had an abortion.

A few years back
she contacted me using
her friend’s phone.

She wanted to set up
a time to have
a private conversation,
said he monitored her
email and phone calls.

I offered to make copies
of our love letters and
send them to her.

She said,

No, he might find them.
It’s not a good idea for me 

to dwell in the past.

Yesterday I found her
on Facebook. There was a
picture of the two of them
dining in an outdoor cafe
in some faraway city
captioned; I met my
true love in 1976.

When we were eighteen
our child lived
for eight precious weeks
in a liquid-filled box
with pink walls
and no windows

and all I know about her today
is what she eats.