Two Poems by Jerry Durick

Enough Rope
Will there ever be enough to go around
given the basics, our various heights and
weights, the variety of materials it’s made of –
some synthetic and others natural fiber, and
there’s its strength and stretch-ability, wear
and tear, and even the availability of proper
places, high enough to work, tree branches,
lampposts, ceiling beams, and chandeliers,
and the knots and placement, the regular slip
or hangman, in front, to the side, or the more
dramatic in back, even durability is a factor
that comes into play, how long it will be before
they find us, minutes, days, years afterwards?
Will there still be enough for our descendants,
like our ancestors kindly left for us, or will they
be forced to improvise with extension cords and
neckties, bed sheets or long sleeves, or vines? 
Will there be hording and cartels forming, or just
black markets, active eBay accounts, junk mail
offers, or some guy who knows a guy who does
a lively business from his car trunk out behind
the Jiffy Mart? Will it be like other shortages,
played out long enough to get us to pay dearly
for what they have, for what we all need so badly?
Will there ever be enough, enough to go around?


My brother Danny brought one home,

kept it in the loft of the garage, always
in the dark. Told me all about it from his bed
one night across our bedroom – all the fuss
and blood, feathers flying everywhere; the smoke,
and a smell and feel he couldn’t quite describe.
He loved to talk at times like that.
Sometimes I remember his voice.
“You put them in this circle; let ‘em go at it,
and stand back and watch them rolling and
kickin’ at each other. And everybody’s smokin’
and pushin’ and cheerin’. And no one asks you
who you are as long as you’ve got money to bet
and a bottle, like I did.
Later I got a ride home with one guy, a real asshole
with a blue Chevy, who gave me this rooster,
a mean fucker, he said. He was so loaded he barely
could drive. It’s out in the garage right now.
Keep ‘em in the dark, keeps ‘em mad as hell and
ready to go when I need it.”
Two days later, early before school, I tried to lie
him out of it with my mother, when the rooster
started crowing its morning without the sun, or
its anger at fate, locked like that right there in
the middle of town in the dark.
I said something like, “I can’t hear anything,” but
she made me climb the ladder to look. I remember
some of it, the close heat, the dark, that awful smell
and the banging flutter of feathers in the dark,
a nightmare crashing itself into walls, moved by the
pure instinct of hate. 

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