Three Poems by Ian Cappelli 12th Annual Contest in Poetry Finalist

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[Disarticulated Prose Poem]

then your phone rings and someone talks at you about a warranty for a car you never had.
                                                                       you keep them on the line, though there is no car. There is only someone else on the line—meaning to convince you that you have a car, and that the warranty is expiring.

The warrant
                                                                              is the context of the phone call. How they ask for your name even though it should be in their records, this being your supposed car. It’s
                                                                                   called “gossamer,” the bits of pollen that clump in the air at zoos or whatever. Springtime snow. It can clog your engine  

                         you stay on the line, politely unconvinced. Actually,

                                                                                                                             In the car chase on the tv set, the news helicopter loses the two cars and points its camera at the forest: a wide shot with trees, the leaves shedding off. That time of year. The cameraperson somehow thinking the police car drove into the forest
                                                                            for however long. Reaching its arm into the forest, rustling
                                                    gossamer                                                                 from it




[Disarticulated Prose Poem]

to traverse this city. You, sometimes, afford museums.
I liked that one.                                                

There is a hole where your stomach should be, though you are not sure what a hole is made out of. The raw material—could it be made from

You thank the driver for the chat. Every little bit
                                                                                fumbling with the handle, receding

like a migratory
                                                                                     and what does it mean to be pitted

Your sister, the conservation biologist, told you once, how: white bread sponges up in their stomachs, making them feel proper full. She’s in England now, that’s why she uses phrases like “proper full.”

It’s her job to recommend corporations check for bats in cottage roofs before they demolish cottages. Bats are
like stone-fruit.

The color-coded subway’s intersecting lines
                                                                                                                                 the birds




[Disarticulated Prose Poem]

                                                            that ear-shattering Amtrak. Shipping containers.

                                          Here’s a story to make it pass—about a son who carries his aging father across the country, but the father is so heavy the son’s knees keep buckling. You know this story? No? And he tells his father, exhausted, that he can’t bear to carry him any further, and, eventually, he leaves him squat by the tracks. His father, saying: funny, this is where I left my father.

                                                      You always check the gums, the bill of health is in the gums, that’s why you don’t look there in the mouth.
“dressage.” I never put them through it.

                                                                       It’s called “paper.” Some call it “envelope.”
A wasp’s nest                                                                    I mean, endangering the foals. 
I doused it with cologne. 

I wrote a letter I’d never sent to my father, some newfangled pseudo-therapeutic move where you write out what you’re thinking, like you’re in a novel, and then toss all your newfound “clarity” in the compost.

It’s called “comb.” Papering over the nest. The farm, much too cumbersome to maintain. Flaming wasps
                                                                                         flaming out over by the old shed.
Joints, even, getting—my joints

There’s that
train again

soft in the wet mud. The hoof tearing off, due to the suction. You should’ve seen all the healing that’d gone into it! The whole hoof growing back, over the seasons—long summers—




Ian CappelliIan Cappelli (he, him) has written the chapbook Suburban Hermeneutics (Cathexis Northwest Press, 2019).

Header photo by Pexels, courtesy Pixabay.

Leather keychain and wallet, with keys
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