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New Poems
by Geoff Anderson





Don’t start nuttin’, won’t be nuttin’.

-George Washington, December 25th, 1776


The mantra of our first president

guides my roommate down from his bunk

every morning, a whisper after the alarm yells.

Some people wake to sunshine,

but we had a signed portrait

of Rutherford B. Hayes on the wall,

in place of a window, Go Colts scribbled

across his black and white chest.


Funny, the things people don’t say;

how once a group of us were cornered

outside of the library, a journalist

turning to me when no one else wanted to

talk about black presidents; how a day

later I couldn’t remember what I had told her

even though the words were printed

with my name, waiting for me to say them.



a line, (a short blue one)


Posthumous Spam

Death is no longer a silence
a month after you passed
when I get a message

in my junkbox and open
a limited time offer
for free pilates sent in your name

before deleting I wonder
what shore a response would find
once it left my hand

its bottle swaddled in sand and kelp
if where you are there is an island
collecting distant letters

the beach an inbox
where you stumble
on a name unfold the paper

and finding a shell

of my voice cast it
back into infinite sea



a line, (a short blue one)


Primal astrology


a year after our wedding

my wife learns she is a rattlesnake


I think this explains

the hisses when threatened


the shake of the tail

a rustle of poison in the air


waiting for a reason for release

I suggest it means she has a temper


she kicks my shin

I apologize


stitch a shallow wound

deep enough to scar



a line, (a short blue one)


First Love Poem


My wife is mad at me again because

I’ve yet to write anything about her.

Leafing through my leaves inside the house,

her eyes the rake, her hands the breeze, a search

begins through dusty journals of old work,

a pause at every mention of a sun

that never captures her. She passes words

like late passengers at a station

seen through a pane of glass aboard a train;

I want to help her down with all her baggage,

arrive at a page where we’ve never been,

far from the poems I could never salvage—

the ones comparing roses to her lips,

her smile to the moon, her voice to Sirens’.



a line, (a blue one)


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