Red Eye Open

I would like to say no words were harmed

in the making of the poem.

You see, I like words as much as some people

like puppies and small children.

As a grandfather,

and something of a pushover

I love babies, and puppies,

and old sad saggy red eyed dogs.

I also love sad saggy old words.

The ones that can barely move their rheumatoid consonants along.

Long time ago,

in a different universe,

I was a truck driver for Pepsi,

and in East Stuart, Florida,

there was a place called

Bessie and Ma’s.

I don’t really know what it was,

but it didn’t open until late,

like at dark.

By dark I had to be back in Rivera Beach,

so I would rattle

my long-straight-body-roll-up truck

alongside of the store,

bouncing over mud holes

and gravely bits of grass

and I would dodge the old hound.

He wouldn’t move.

There is a special sound a roll-up door makes,

you probably know it.

I hear it in my heart,

not my ears,

nor my mind, even.

I roll up the door in the slow late afternoon,

last stop.

4 cases of non-returnable 10 ounce bottles.

Tossed on my shoulder.

Even though three was the limit.

Safety man says.

But It was a dollar’s worth of commission.

I wasn’t going to unhitch the dolly

for a quarter extra

and I had to take them all in.

Hell, I was young.

Thirty Years Ago.

The old storefront windows are filled with signs. You can’t see inside. I bang on the wood framed glass door. I wait. I bang, again. In a little while, a very old, very dark lady let me in. I shift the cases off my shoulder and onto the cooler box. I ask if she wants me to fill the box. No. she gives me the $36.00, I sign the yellow copy and give it to her. Thank you, she says. Thank you I say.

Out of the very dark place.

The hound is still laying on the edge of a mud hole.

Now he opens one red eye.


I don’t touch him,

but I lean down close and say,

“hey old guy, way to watch!”

then I rattle off to Palm Beach County.

No dog was harmed in this poem.

I am sure of that.

I read as much as I can that Al writes.

I have befriended,

or at least attached myself

like a groupie,

to some real LANGUAGE poets.

I try to protect the words.

I try to make sure my poem

knows it’s a poem

and that it writes about itself,

but maybe I am the dog in the mud hole,

just one red eye open.

I look in the mirror now.


“way to watch!”

About anthonyuplandpoetwatkins born in Jackson, The United States August 04, 1959 gender male website genre Poetry, Historical Fiction influences James M. Lancaster, Brenda Black White, Gertrude Stein, William Carlos Williams, and Al Filreis member since March 2011 About this author edit data As one of the most public lives ever lived by a private citizen, there is little about me that isn't already available at Facebook or Shelfari and countless other places. Poet, writer, construction worker, salesman, truck driver, climber into the attics of total strangers, father and husband, and all around one of the luckiest men on the planet. My luck continued with a win in the June Goodreads Newsletter Contest! What an honor! http://anthonyuplandpoetwatkins.wordp... Additional Influences: Bob Dylan, William Faulkner, Barbara Kingsolver, Gloria Naylor, Eudora Welty
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s