Three Poems by Jon Conley


House Hunters

nicest on a market u say just for fun
u say hey over here we’re taking
the wig down let’s get down with
wearing wigs for sure for fun what
a funny funeral tonight what
a bashful way to be exemplary what
a handful of tequila and pineapple
in ur hand let’s make an offer hey
I got on in I’m in it I’m in on it don’t
need no more bachelor pad hey
baby it’s time for a Tudor a real
ranch style real eves and fireplaces
brick sure that’s expensive but
nice on market let’s take it down
with a beer and live on edge for
a minute while the foundation
settles nice cabinetry too

do you recall finding your mother

while climbing a short ladder your fat mother fell from the highest which is to say third rung she lay a prune in the dangling light speaking of the agony with which she will die how in front of her were the stars of her life rattling down her red carpet mind your hypochondriac mother screaming how she should have been bitter and more disruptive to the demons of her preteens how she should have shown Hannah and Robin more teeth screaming how even those with fake degrees of pain can create real moments of catharsis as if she would use them
she would prefer to blame this on the ceiling tiles though they do not exist she would prefer to blame this on your blondeness though it never bothered me i always thought you were a wild bitch anyway a real wild one not to be held back by a certain tint or glare of low sun on the long strung golden road heading east into the distance from which we all came
your mother shouts shouts shouts refrains she will be retreating from the frontier please remove the rice from the stove do not let the dough over rise do not blame your father for the way he behaved at your cousin’s party behaves at every party especially those that contain an element of outdoor and require the presence of a sunset to remove the stigma that the party was built upon after all the invitations did not openly say to bring your wildest bitch with you the one who will trash and ruin all if not by admission at least by carrying all to the roof and throwing all in the pool and when pushed in by your wild bitch at least come out on knees deep and remorseful and wet and sure
as in the way that you will keep your face level with humanity’s ass as if to say sorry as if to say nothing at all except to communicate silently that yes you will have a mouth full of ass
as if this bitch were
not wild enough you bring
her out again for a ride to the
store where she insists on
the expensive and fat, you
love how American this bitch
strange and sweet how she sits inside of your heart

Two Lovebirds on an Evening Out

damn u
don’t want to drink or feel
too sloppy or die—for that
matter not—tonight
but can u smoke?
so we search and sure
u can mix xanax and weed u can
do anything u want u can
be a bird u love birds—but
the downside is not knowing
which—is helping
downside is helping—however
this is remote—a situation
we are dealing with—we are dealing
with not having child

u take one hit
and i say man—instead of many
try one—and see
how we feel 15 mins later
but i drink the tall can of sweet ale
anyway—u hit twice—nice
we forget—we hop—we ride—we go
into the night
a good night
eating bugs—we roll
to other childless houses—is anyone alone
is anyone—out tonight—having a fire
having—a party—having—a ritual?
but damn
it is quiet

i wish
i brought an other—other—with me
another with me—i am worried
for ur worry—hope—that is okay
with u and damn
i check all—with u don’t i?—my bad
like my problem—in the air—the unsure
humidity is how we call a night
is how—we sneak down
into a private—into the privacy of—privately into
a private beach—we r private too—like who
the fuck r u?—and there—no one
the only house sold—and alone—and looks
empty—but the waves crash hard
as they can—for a lake

Jon Conley is a writer and musician from Cleveland. He is one of the founders and editors of Long Long Journal. Find him online at @beachstav.

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