“The universe wants something that is in me / but not what I have in me to give. / Let me tell you: I haven’t whispered right in years.”
Why there aren’t Jordan Stempleman fan clubs in every open field—fan clubs that would consist of an abandoned Astro Van, painted with blue and yellow racing stripes, almost hidden among the tall stalks under a sunset somehow permanent, while inside the Astro Van is a photograph of the same field and Astro Van under an even more beautiful sunset, a photograph the fans inside the Astro Van try to avoid looking at (but when we do we can’t help but shake our heads) while meanwhile they are either trying to scratch out every reflective surface until it’s not reflective or polish every unreflective surface until it is reflective (we can’t decide), and even meanwhiler crows live their whole productive lives on top of the Astro Van because above all it makes for a meek scarecrow, why there aren’t Jordan Stempleman fan clubs like this—well, it’s beyond me. Here are four sets of decontextualized lines from Jordan’s new chapbook Wallop (from Grey Book Press) :
One out of five people applying for citizenship
today secretly wish they were applying
to live in a forest just outside the country
to which they’ve applied,
where they could still see the lights
from the largest cities at night
Was that the tenderness people always talk about
or just a bad cold?
Health happens like this:
there are stupid things
we put in us.
Some of these things go from stupid to nothing.
A few never leave.
… It’s like a road of pine trees
that first say no to the car, no to the bike, no holding hands
to make your way through this rowdy, timeless path.
Tags: jordan stempleman