Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘The State of the World From the First Floor’ and other poems

By: Richard LeDue

The State of the World From the First Floor

Autumn fog is quiet as thoughts about death
we silence

with streaming services,

wine on a Tuesday,


candy shaped edibles,

workplace worries uprooting our down time
like a bored child destroying
their retired neighbour’s garden,

audits on our income tax,

empty rooms we made love to
just long enough to know loneliness,

yearnings for fame
as common as change in the couch cushions…

and winter only a month away.

Old Sitcoms

Even if being haunted is dead now,
we still lie in bed
on Sunday afternoons
watching old sitcoms,
where dead actors make us laugh
so hard, we give life
to their ghost stories.

Barely Enough to Fill an Envelope

Life feels flat as a stamp
sometimes, and since fewer and fewer
write letters these days,
it’s like the hours are more silent than ever,
while messenger pigeons circle,
only for us to realize they’re untrained
and we have nothing to say anyway,
leaving us with dead songs on Friday nights,
among the same brand of beer
our grandparents drank and lotto ticket arguments
(about the best way to spend imaginary money),
which inflates us just enough that we can still dream
of flying.

Shitty days

hurt enough to empty bottles,
to ignite a joint,
to cause a cocaine stained nosebleed,
but they’re still there,
when you wake up cursing
3 AM for not being 6 AM
and hearing the silence whisper all the wrongs
you don’t want to think about,
like how your escape became the trap.

An Empty Glass Kind of Existence

If I’m all going to be a famous poet
it’ll be after I’m dead,
and then my ghost will be bought
plenty of drinks that I’ll never drink,
while professors profess my words
like prayers before the collection plate circulates,
only to learn more from noticing
none of the students are listening
than from anything I ever wrote,
but at least they required everyone in the class
to buy my collected poems-
dollar bills blessing me with eternal life
the size of someone else’s pocket.

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