Literary Orphans

Three Poems
by Eric Blanchard

Square (164)

God Holds Grudges

The one of us who grew too quickly

makes jokes at the rest of our expense.

He laughs at the empathy we share.

He sees nothing clearly, being blind

since birth, both stubborn and angry

at a god who gave him bulk and brawn

but never listens to the prayers he offers

asking for sunlight and a hint of colors.

Still, he dances at the Sunday altar and

preaches from a raging pulpit about the

innate value of life and the need

for obedience and unquestioning faith

and piety. Then he drinks himself stupid

and slaps the whore who lies beside him

across her red lips because she says she

loves him and that her unborn child

is his. He does not preach forgiveness.

He does not forgive. God holds grudges,

he says. And this is how he worships.

This is how he lives his sorry life.

 

O Typekey Divider

Opening the Mind

Now this is

the key to passing one

piece of knowledge

to another person’s

mind: Take one

tiny microdot

of truth—one

fact plucked

from emotion—

and place it

on your tongue.

Do not savor it

for long. Do

not swallow.

Share it with

the world

one whisper

at a time.

. . . . . . . And

lightning flashes

and sparks fly across synapses,

and sometimes

there is thunder

in the distance.

 

O Typekey Divider

 

The Good Parts

The dead rabbits look so sad

as grandpa’s knife separates fur

from flesh, but we are glad

to have nourishment so packed

with protein and luck. We

suck marrow from the bones.

 

My brother is partial to the

brains, slow-boiled still in the

skull with what’s left of the rich stew.

Grandma stitches the skins

together to make a blanket for

the baby’s new bed.

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . And I

read to him stories of Br’er Rabbit,

of post-war southern reconstruction,

leaving out the good parts—

the jolly poverty and zip-

a-dee-doo-dah endings.

 

O Typekey Divider

Eric Blanchard grew up in Houston, Texas. He earned degrees in philosophy (B.A.) and jurisprudence (J.D.). Eric has practiced law, written appellate briefs, been editor-in-chief of an international trade law journal, and worked as an adviser for a state representative in the Texas legislature.

Eric’s poetry has been published in numerous literary journals and reviews, both on-line and in print, including Autumn Sky Poetry, Rust and Moth, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Pudding Magazine, Amarillo Bay, Turbulence, and Poetry Quarterly. 

He currently resides in Dayton, Ohio with his beautiful girlfriend, her young son, three dogs, and two tiny fish.

Eric Blanchard

O Typekey Divider

–Art by Peter Lamata