“I forgot the earth and heaven” By Jason Baldinger

 

 

I forgot the earth and heaven

every morning this 
city introduces me 
to a new shade of gray

I’m wearing a t-shirt
of an old friends
long dead country band

the ocean’s a rocks glass
overfull with ice
a trick to sterilize the taste

I saw a crass sticker
on a kia soul
a voice in my head says maniacal laugh

there’s a pitcher of beer
waiting for me
I’m almost sure its a cry for help

she drops her head on my shoulder
irrigation systems, telegraph poles
I say, I love you, sorry yr suffering

it should be a regular greeting
in this cathedral
the noise is unbearable

 

About the Author: Jason Baldinger is a poet from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He was recently a Writer in Residence at Osage Arts Community, and is founder and co-director of The Bridge Series. He has multiple books available including the soon to be released The Better Angels of our Nature (Kung Fu Treachery) and the split books The Ugly Side of the Lake with John Dorsey (Night Ballet Press) as well as Little Fires Hiding with James Benger (Kung Fu Treachery Press). His work has been published widely in print journals and online. You can listen to him read his work on Bandcamp on lps by the bands Theremonster and The Gotobeds.

 

Photo Credit: Lee Russell “Native of Olga, Louisiana drinking at the bar. Note the branch of tree used as a mosquito switch” (1938) The Library of Congress

“When Cancer Comes to Evansville Indiana” By Jason Baldinger

 

 

When Cancer Comes to Evansville Indiana

she says they stayed 
in casinos every night
they ate like kings
steaks, all you can eat crab legs
the best pork chops she ever had

she shovels mashed potatoes
with white gravy in her mouth
asks when the waitress’s surgery is
they speak in hushed tones
the conversation breaks down
into promises of future prayers

when cancer comes to Evansville Indiana
mortality is another strong wind
lost in the yellow flowers
that stain the fields here every May

mortality is just another wave on the Ohio

 

About the Author: Jason Baldinger is a poet from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  He was recently a Writer in Residence at Osage Arts Community, and is founder and co-director of The Bridge Series. He has multiple books available including the soon to be released The Better Angels of our Nature (Kung Fu Treachery) and the split books The Ugly Side of the Lake with John Dorsey (Night Ballet Press) as well as Little Fires Hiding with James Benger (Kung Fu Treachery Press). His work has been published widely in print journals and online. You can listen to him read his work on Bandcamp on lps by the bands Theremonster and The Gotobeds.

 

Photo Credit: Arthur Rothstein “Truck driver in diner. Clinton, Indiana” (1940) The Library of Congress