This Magazine

Progressive politics, ideas & culture

March-April 2010

Three Poems by Jason Camlot

Jason CamlotWebsite

Red Book

There is a little red book
in which I etch occasions
that seemed to matter to us
for the sake of a future
encounter with engraved instances
that will make a boy or girl
with something of my genetic
structure unknowingly sad.

This little red book
is a little red bird, lost
in the sky, not knowing
its course of flight, not knowing
if it’s about to see
heaven or worms.

My scratchings are barely
legible on the inside of
the tiny bird’s heart,
the little bird’s tiny
racing heart.

If anyone wishes to know
what I am remembering,
he must find the bird,
capture the bird,
kill the bird, dissect the bird,
cut the pages of the little
bird’s tiny heart, and try to read
what is written there.

Dear Death,

I had a book with empty pages
that I used to write you letters.

You never answered my long questions,
but I continued writing letters

to you, Death. I kept writing you
long and boring, heartfelt letters.

You never answered my stupid questions.
And now you take my book from me?


Spiders spin webs around flower pots.

Squirrels grow teeth the length of wood sleds.

Bees make honey in soda pop traps.

Birds perch aimlessly on dented eaves.

Skunks barely fit into their holes.

Taxi drivers leave crossword squares unfilled.

Teachers crouch to teach children things.

Worms burrow deeper.

I walk on the dying grass.

Show Comments