“Eavesdropping on a Self-Lecture” by Andy Fogle

Reading by the author

Beast that lives on expansion—

The Chesapeake’s soil?
Exhausted by tobacco,

but then it turned out

cotton could be king,
so we sent the southern tribes

west, and the mid-Atlantic

slaves south. It worked out, this
three-way of plants, flesh,

and coin. America’s like

that asshole traffic cop:
You go here, you go there, you

wait, go, stop, and blowing

that whistle all the while. Nod
if you’ve heard it, if you’ve

recognized its piercing shine.

I don’t come from much,
but it’s still a holler

up next to that mountain built

from plants and flesh (they mined
most of the coin). I’ve fished

that creek, walked them woods, awed

at the sight of deer I didn’t
shoot, but I’m still of

them, if not quite one of them,

and just barely one of this.
Lord, let me sit my ass down,

whilst you talk into my eye.

Andy Fogle is the author of Across from Now and seven chapbooks of poetry, including the forthcoming Arc & Seam: Poems of Farouk Goweda, co-translated with Walid AbdallahHis work, including a variety of nonfiction and collage, has appeared in Anomaly, Blackbird, Gargoyle, Image, Parks and Points,and Right Hand Pointing. He’s from Virginia Beach and the DC area, and now lives in Upstate NY, where he is the recipient of a 2021 Individual Artist Grant from Saratoga Arts.  

Image: “Burgers and Flowers” by Shane Allison

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