After-music: Poems by Conrad Hilberry

By Conrad Hilberry

After-Music is a various and wealthy choice of meditations on either the private and common. among the exciting locations, humans, and occasions that Hilberry brings to existence in those poems are staring at manatees in a Florida canal, a reluctant priest blessing the animals in Mexico, a rushed and sullen checkout woman within the grocery store, and Day of the lifeless skeletons that shape a mariachi band. even if many of the poems are formal in sonnets, quatrains, and tetrameter lots of the poems are unfastened verse, making them available and relaxing studying.

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After-music: Poems

After-Music is a various and wealthy selection of meditations on either the private and common. one of several fascinating locations, humans, and occasions that Hilberry brings to existence in those poems are gazing manatees in a Florida canal, a reluctant priest blessing the animals in Mexico, a rushed and sullen checkout woman within the grocery store, and Day of the useless skeletons that shape a mariachi band.

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I’m cursed with an unnatural affection. R u n o ff Hopeless weekends dripping from the sky, notarized lies, winged seeds, the arm and eyelid of a doll—all this is me, sloshing, taking my time— bones of the banker rolled in a green wind. Pablo Neruda, my uncle, pours his sexual water in my cracked cup. Ruido rojo de huesos. Beetles roll to the inhale of my blood— whatever seeps from the lungs of leaning houses, what percolates, what shouts, what hugs the broken post of its love. In a bad time, 49 50 when you’re choking on smart bombs and stupid ones, I’m here to reassure you.

But you prefer to look ahead, one hand on the wheel, taking that curve below the carved-out rock, moving in whatever lane you choose. You think a mirror’s function is to let you see the day receding, everything you’ve crossed or skirted diminishing behind you— the flag girl there in the construction zone, the slanted Citroen easing toward its exit. Objects in mirror . . You ignore my messages. Remember that school bus you passed? It’s not far behind us, five children’s faces in the windshield.

While you’ve been terracing the hills and parceling out the bottomland, I’ve watched it coming on, this huge blue fender, inches from my face. 41 42 C h e r ry P i e We’re all acquainted with the airy crowd—a stalk of celery dipped in cottage cheese, a thimble of soy milk, a few green grapes. I invite them over here: between two butter crusts, my sour flesh so deeply sugared it astounds the mouth. To coax it all to bed, a downy pillow of whipped cream. Try me, you organics. Light the oven. Let me show you how the juices leap, when nature shares the sheets with art.

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