20161021

Bob Heman



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The rain was sticking.




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More often or not the barn was pulled by several trains.




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They remembered heaven each time they were threatened, each time the sky approached too close. They remembered, but then forgot, the times they were given flowers.




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The number on the door corresponded with the distance to Denmark.




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Ten explanations for the moon. A door that they carried into the ocean. Five animals they couldn’t identify. A pair of clowns reflected in a mirror.




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Used a dictionary to measure his desire.




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Assembled the circus from the machines that were left in the ocean, from the machines that remained in the empty lot, from the machines that had been used to rearrange the dead. Used animals that were incomplete and trees that were incorrectly drawn. Used a truck that they called the ringmaster to lift the tent higher than the stars. Used clowns that were really only boxes of bailing wire, and elephants that resembled ears of corn.




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The sideshow was filled with rows of empty bottles, with a display of barbed wire, with women who were covered with the wrong kind of numbers. There was a door that allowed them to exit, and another that did not.




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They became more cautious in their use of the apes, in their use of circles, in their use of the letter R. They became more cautious and spoke only with the gods that had been damaged.




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Philadelphia was not the answer to the first question.




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They were only a story the sailors told, only a blemish on a piece of sky. The words they spoke were cut out of magazines. The animals never approached.




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Has to explain the autumn twice.




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They are shaped like a story, colored like the horizon, counted and then counted again. The bears appear because they are appropriate. The trees have been there all along.




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A game of “rock, paper, scissors” will not help explain the woman. A game of leap frog will not bring the sky any closer. Each time they sing the counting song the map changes. Where there once were animals there is now only a road that is incomplete.



Bob Heman’s poems have been published on every continent except Antarctica. He lives on the west end of a long narrow island that was once called Paumanok.
 
 
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