gc waldrep

"Escape Strategies," by G.C. Waldrep and John Gallaher

A kind of clarity rises, like leaving a room, going
and coming back. It forms a narrative
where the goal is to count the bodies,
to make them into furniture.

And night falls where it may,
with the private lives of individuals,
where you don’t know what to do next, and maybe
counting’s fine, but then, maybe not,
maybe counting’s a mess
and you’re on the very edge of something large
rushing at you, though most of the time you know
there’s nothing at all that large rushing at you.

Such thoughts. And look,
he turns on his phone
and he turns off his phone. “I’m sorry,
my phone is ringing,” he says.

Some people enter, some keep entering.
They’re sure they’re traversing a wide field. “I might die here,”
they say. Or, “My father died here.”

You can count the doors
and windows. You can tell yourself
you’re working it out
or that everything that ever frightened you
is on the other side of an empty cage.

From "Ideal Boating Conditions," by G.C. Waldrep and John Gallaher

The wind shifts. The little boats go this way
and that in the harbor. You watch them.

Somewhere on board each of the boats
is a mirror, from which you watch yourself
watching the boats. The self you’re going to be
sends postcards back to the self you are now,
only the self you are now won’t get them
until it’s too late, until you’re different.

You think the part of you that is out there,
in the harbor, must be happier than you are now.