Scott Silsbe

A Voicemail from Jimmy

 

I know it will go away one of these days.

But for now, I still have it stashed away.

a voice message from two years ago.

It starts “Scott, this is Jimmy Cvetic.”

Jimmy calling my phone while I was

likely still in bed. Leaving this voicemail

for me, saying, “I wanted to tell you that

I liked your book.” Jimmy saying I have

nice style and saying that word “style”

like Bukowski, his hero. Jimmy says

it’s a good book—“And I’m not saying

this to blow sunshine up your ass, ok?”
he says. Then the message winds down.

I know this old cell phone will one day

delete the voicemail or else not turn on

one morning, but for now I still have this

little bit of sound saved there, this moment

before he was gone. We’ve got his poems

and I have this voicemail. I have it saved.

For now. So that if I want to, I can hear

his voice again—maybe just once more.

 

Confessionalism II

I stayed up late last night getting drunk by myself.

I put records on & filled a pipe as much as I liked.

I didn’t feel bad about it. In fact, I felt pretty great.

 

My Pale Blue Heart

                for Meghan Tutolo

 

I’ve never seen the thing, but it’s in there—

oh baby, I know it. I can feel that it’s there.

Couldn’t tell you why it’s pale blue though.

That’s a mystery. Because I’m cold as ice?

Because I’m an Aquarius and love to swim?

Or because I’m a sucker for a good moon?

Why is anything the shade it appears to be?

Because of refracted light, I suppose. Right?

I’m okay with my heart being pale blue.

Makes me feel like a blue-blood—fancy!

Most days I feel pale blue. What’s in

your heart? What color’s your blood?

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