Three poems by Ed Roberson

 A Glass

The table looking ’cross the valley
silences from us
the two seated there into the view;
the green ridge overrides
the crests lined behind it as
completely as the wave sway
of their hands’ meanings
as words mouthed like fish breathing
somewhere and something else
the next sea. 

Depending on the wind
you can now and then hear a voice
from some invisible distance
one as long as this tide of ridges
counterpoint the two meeting.
Temperature changes the carry
of sound   it is air after all   our words.
Rephrased and added to through leaves   over peaks
the trajectoried cast of shadow’s chills and heats …

The two are calm but angry   or is it us
counter with neither   that trusts our way of
seeing   as always   when if
the whole mountain is in the picture,   we are not.
Our voices, a wind. Calm nor anger no more
than a green.
And air in the ear of atmosphere a message
finally back is silent
a cyclone erase and polish of our sea’s
surfaces into a glass of sky. 




Transporte Mixto

Two extra seats welded to the frame
of the truck cab make this business
not tourism    though what we’ve seen
all morning no screen but the world
itself could take on and even a peep
through don’t-look-fingers would fill theaters

Every space to sit    on top of the load
is occupied by its farmers looking instead
to market not the mountains the one lane
thousand foot drop off  over the pass way
you do business    even in the face
of another truck’s sudden rounding the corner

You don’t speak the language you do
speak with common eyes    that face we
let speak all at once as one    recognition
No one has to
repeat that silence’s sound    The cost of business
is something more than the experience

than the view. More
like the women who appear with warm bread
out of nowhere when a landslide moments ahead
closes the road
or like the thought of having to eat
our words for fear.





A someone else I anticipate seeing
my mess       has stopped coming       a guest respect
that brought me to order

                                                   now it’s just
the way it is      where I leave everything
alone       bum ahead or break off to never
coming or coming back to 

                                                        some pile in the floor
that’s now the texture      the ground     of stepping
over      as if       no body       is there
nor here 

                 I no longer                
                 habeas corpus
                                                    nor produce the body.


I prepare a table for my guest
and my guest brings me clearing
                                        me clearing off
                                                                      the table
                           brings                              the table

        my guest brings me clearing off the table
The clearing in the presence of my enemy 

In my disorder I am my enemy          the guest
                                of    my company 

Someone I anticipate seeing the mess
I would clear away     for has stopped coming
        Look     The clearing has stopped coming 

object  aim  purpose  beneficiary  all  
        those are for     stop dropping by and fall

to the floor:      In this case
guests never arriving starve the host
so he carves them 

out of himself he eats them with nothing
to prepare for
The jury must decide if the guests are souls 

or un-embodied ambulations of will,
death’s transmigrating finishes of list
or fluctuating fields of presence at 

a formal dress vacuum
event excited to fluorescence as a ghost
or one’s own 

perspective parallaxed
to the point it gets to one