Joseph Lease

8 poems

 

HOW IT IS

my glass

ghost dad

sees his glass I

collapse:

you said

joy

you said

be

night  

I'm writing

inside death, I'm


in the bag, dead


again, dead again,

you cry

(God)

“home”:

come, have

you come,

have

you come

to sing


to


me


bless


anyone, bless


anyone, all


night I was

your hair

 

WE DREAMED WE WERE ALIVE

WE DREAMED WE WERE ALIVE


empire in his

shit

empire in his

spit

WE DREAMED WE WERE ALIVE

America

my parasite

my seizure

breaking

word

and

world

WE DREAMED WE WERE ALIVE

and “live


like it’s your party,” big pharma,


big murder, state terror, so

drunk as the moon, so willows,

so lost, soul of bullets, soul of


cash, everything is dying, dying,


waiting for the time of love

WE DREAMED WE WERE ALIVE

lightning is as lightning does: I

think we’re alone now, your chest

is music, my mouth is rain: soft


moon, soft hills, and autumn soft

as cream or memory:

WE DREAMED WE WERE ALIVE

drunk like coins, like coins: our


lifestyle is wrecking the planet for


Christ’s sake, ghost mom’s drunk


like a gold coin, ghost dad’s drunk


like a gold coin: the tv says the tv:


the hole in the job, the hole in the


house

WE DREAMED WE WERE ALIVE

small

burst

of death

spins

in soft

air

WE DREAMED WE WERE ALIVE

and all the lies in any town: dearest


brother, I can't cry, can't autocorrect,


we open sky: dearest brother I can't


go, this is the way the world ends:


just tear it up and throw it in the fire,


just tear it up and throw it in the


truth: we were always dust: we don't


get out:


Joseph Lease's critically acclaimed books of poetry include The Body Ghost (Coffee House Press, 2018), Testify (Coffee House Press, 2011), and Broken World (Coffee House Press, 2007). Lease’s poems "'Broken World' (For James Assatly)" and "Send My Roots Rain" were anthologized in Postmodern American Poetry: A Norton Anthology. Lease’s poem "'Broken World' (For James Assatly)" was anthologized in The Best American Poetry (Robert Creeley, Guest Editor). His poem “Free Again (Why don’t people)” was published in The New York Times. Lease is a Professor of Writing and Literature at California College of the Arts.