Richard Greenfield




Here in the outskirts,

where sea fossils
were left on the ridges,

I wrote

“The rain sluiced
the trees bare of the earth—”
this was my history, too,
here in the outskirts

nothing I do is witnessed, nothing I build lasts, I am happy,
work keeps me going,

I am remote but I know
the old world is still out there, too,
where the roads are intraworking,

the last dust and the vermin slip by, unnamed, here

self-protection is a shutdown of empathy,

I forget friends, the calendar

is a reliable prediction,

the paper that yellows in the oil-light
on an unmovable table, beneath
a window faced piper-westward,

my beard is growing now,
filling up my neck,

skin itchy,


while the dripping faucet
awls a hole into the sink
or the firmament

with well water

or the sun swivels
around the slow agon of time,
and bakes its mark into paint…

and I would rather not speak
of my address

or the address of my occupation,

both are on roads
named after locals.

© 2008 Electronic Poetry Review