You Can’t Arrest Me Here, Why? Three Poems by Jordan Stempleman

[Poems by the Jordan Stempleman, who has done much interesting work, including editorial contribution to the meaningful Continental Review. Video Poetics, which seems inevitable. Jordan was so kind to fill in the following short blanks:

I unscrew my head and...another head pops out.

Poet's midnight snack...another poet or two.]

In This Issue

Why this huge crush on escaping

the cruise liner only to be shot at, then

actually shot, days at sea, Jesus, the spoom,

sand, never forget the rock climbing,

tough go at making a fire,

you can’t arrest me here, why?

because you’re not here, I’m alone.

And then the long ride back in a seaplane

when it should’ve been an ambulance.

Name one place after I mention bloodless,

standing around, standing around as all wildlife

goes tame: Office Depot, no, Office Max,

no, I’m not understanding what you mean.

If there’s a tank filled with just pebbles

and poop and murky water,

I’ve still got to ask, what exactly happened,

not, where’d they all go?


All this talk about how synthesizers

are the no no we always take back

and now, now that we have them

are you really, for me, still crying?

The flowers children paint, in terms

of their tendency, are an example

of the endless delay of their sudden

concern, and how dumb

are my variations, how prone

the cold is.

If every synthesizer kept on playing

throughout the thrum of those blue skies

we must somehow live though, nothing

would ever begin to outlanguage us

during our fairly incredible

good time.

Johnny Rowlands

Yesterday, before reporting live

on channel four about a three car clusterfuck

in the middle of the morning rush, I was in the right mind

to refreshen my helicopter with the pastured scent

of dependability.

Then, as the sun hit the wreck, all the laws

of the dark universe thwacked each other

at once. I hovered. You bet I hovered.

What am I doing here? I can’t hear anything

but the Korean War in this thing.

Every day I radio in these roads.

And I never go home with anyone.

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