Cold Comfort

Richard Garcia


A book is a finer pillow than a stone. A drowned book floats face-down. A book in a sandstorm constantly changes its mind. Who has not heard of the book carried over the heart that stopped a bullet?

A watch was in love with a thief but the thief had many watches. He wore several on each arm. Like most watches, eventually it got sick of dreaming. Nobody cares that the book eats so little to stay alive. Nobody cares about the book of bandages. There is a book looming on the horizon. The book opened to the sky is the horizon.

What to say about the water bottle? It hardly exists, having already failed as a river. And the rain, tapping its fingers, so impatient, hasn't it already failed as a cloud?

Your Chicken

A chicken makes a great pet.
Because, later, you can eat it.
It is also a great pet because
you can write a poem about it.

Did you know that the ancestor of the chicken
that lives in the Amazon swamps
is called the Hoatzin—that it has
claws on its wings, that it hangs upside down
from branches and drops into water
and comes up with piranha in its beak?

The natives will not eat the hoatzin
because it smells so bad.
Even the branches it hangs on
smell of the hoatzin.

But your chicken will stand on your chest
and peck at your chin to wake you up.
But do not stare into its eyes
since chickens are pathetically easy to hypnotize.

When it is time to eat your chicken
do not give in to the hand-held blender of regret.
The hand-held blender of regret
will only confuse you with its poisonous blur.

And what about that poem about your chicken?
That will come later, in repose, as you recall
the delirious flavor of deception and derring-do
better than poetry or escaping from jail.

about the author


12.3 (Spring 2008)   The 2River View AuthorsPoemsPDFArchives2River