NOVEMBER, THE REALIST
by James McKee
Scrapped leaves, the orange the gold the crimson,
scratch along, clump, stop. Crumble. Rot.
Blow off where it all blows. Aaannd are gone.
Goes, too, the wide green tight green ends in,
frou-frou for debleaking (Ablur? Ablur)
stark stonescapes that never otherhow were.
Boughs, stripped (check); ground, scraped (check); skies, lowdowned
and spilt-milk scrimmed (check, check). Sight skimmed.
On view, brushstroked in rust/bone/ash/coal
and signed “November, the Realist”: Behold
your merest is, minus your not.
(Baits?) Yeah. (Taken?) Yup: nothing-worse winter,
spring ah-worth-it-all, why-worry summer.
Worst, last week a hue staggered you: “Use—
you there, sarcasto!—for once le juste, ‘glorious’.
Then this. Gray air, sheer, non-swag. Brutal.
Concrete and brick. (Phones down!) Asphalt and metal.
Trust such to stand when plant-plush dismantles.
Sure, it’s just until. But until until,
be sombered. Attend, figure, to your ground—
once back-, now fore-; more lack, less more—
where with withs nothing, without without.
James McKee enjoys failing in his dogged attempts to keep pace with the unrelenting cultural onslaught of late-imperial Gotham. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Acumen, The Raintown Review, Saranac Review, The South Carolina Review, THINK, The Midwest Quarterly, Xavier Review, and elsewhere. He currently works as a private tutor and spends his free time, when not writing or reading, traveling less than he would like and brooding more than he can help.