More news from friends

This morning I finally had a chance to start in on my backlog of literary journals, and look what I found in Indiana Review: a poem by my good friend Jeff Schultz.

Jeff and I attended the MFA at the University of Oregon together, and he's since published all over the place, won a "Discovery"/Boston Review Prize, and received a prestigious Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He lives in Los Angeles and teaches at Pepperdine University.


Old News and the Borrowed Blues

          I’ll play it and tell you what it is later.
                              --Miles Davis

All winter the dog’s run his track around the yard’s edge
          deeper into the mud; he’s pissed on the same fence-posts,

Snorted at the squirrel between the weathered boards,
          and he circles always, as if there were a better place to shit.

I don’t think he has it in him to mind, but thing is, I can’t stop
          feeling sorry for myself and the piss-poor state of my days:

Rain and a walk to the market. Rain and the same old news,
          the anchor trying to manage a segue from seventeen burnt bodies

To ten tips to kick your shopping addiction with something like grace.
          And there are forms to fll out and co-pays to make.

There’s the institutional AC’s unwavering rumble and hiss.
          But isn’t that the thing about the blues? At bottom,

It’s always the same: One, Four, Five, One, repeat. You always know
          what’s coming, and only The Greats can make you forget

To expect it: We sleep-in on weekends, eat breakfast late,
          sit at the kitchen table and listen to the radio.

But it’s the waking I like best, whole hours of it, tangling
          and untangling our bodies, fixing on the grace of the neck

Or wrist before circling back into a dream of a day beginning.
          It used to nag at me always, I was such a child, asking,

Is this all there is? But these days together, a little sunlight
          out the window rinsing the leaf-tips of the familiar,

I tell you, Honey, we’re the richest dogs on Earth.

Jeffrey Schultz
from Indiana Review, Winter 2010