Wednesday, September 18, 2013

sestinas || Shane Allison

A Sestina for Aunt Karen

Dear Karen, I am sick as a dog.
Been coughing and sneezing all weekend
And the thing is, it’s not that cold
Down here in Tallahassee. But that’s what I get
For going out without my jacket on at night.
I left all of my good coats at your house,

So now I don’t have a single coat in the house
To put on for this kind of weather. My neighbor’s dog
Is healthier than me. You should hear me coughing at night.
Ma makes fun of me when I cough. I spent the whole weekend
In bed. I went to the drugstore to get
Some Alka-Seltzer Plus. It’s the cold

And flu kind. I can’t stand having a cold.
I think my coats and sweaters are in a suitcase at your house.
Would you be a dear and get
Them out of the suitcases? They must smell like wet dog
By now. I might go see the new Harry Potter movie this weekend.
Is Tarisha still into it? Ma told me last night

That ya’ll lost twenty pounds. All I do is snack all night,
But I haven’t had much of an appetite with this cold.
I’ve been drinking lots of juice. I think last weekend
Was when I caught it, when I left the house
Without a jacket. I wish I had a dog
To keep me company. I’m gonna get

Me one once I’m out on my own. I’m gonna get
A few cats and hamsters, too. They’re good at night
When you need them to fetch something. The neighbor’s dog
Is gorgeous. I heard on the news that it’s inhumane to leave animals out in the cold.
So has Will done any work to the house?
I miss coming over to see you on the weekends.

Do you and Tarisha still go to Long Island on the weekends?
Before you come home for Christmas, can you run by and get
Me a crack head lunch with an extra bag of chips? In your house
I like the lavender and yellow room downstairs. I called you last night,
But you weren’t home. I need to get rid of this cold.
I am sicker than a crack head lunch-eating crack head. Dog,

It’s cold in New York. Is the house still
Warm upstairs and cold downstairs?
You better get yourself a dog to keep you warm at night.

A Sestina for Joe Verrilli

Dear Joe,
I’m sorry for not writing.
It’s just that I’ve been so busy
With looking for work, writing
Stories and poems, that I
Haven’t had the time

For much else. So much time
Has passed since your last letter to me, Joe.
What’s new with you? I
Got your post card collages. Writing
Letters usually isn’t my thing, so I figured writing
You a letter in the form of a poem would be better. Have you been busy

Volunteering at the school? I’m busy
As hell looking for a job. It takes up a shitload of my time.
So have you been doing any writing?
Last week I was listening, Joe
Robert got me back into writing
Stories after an eight year hiatus from fiction. I

Want to thank him for that. That reminds me. I
Need to write to him. I guess he’s busy
With that crazy roommate of his. My poetry writing
Lately has been shit. I guess I’m at a time
In my life when it’s time to take a break from things, Joe.
Let me tell ya, writing

In my thirties has been awful. Writing
Can be so tedious. Gavin Dillard called my writing trite once. I
Wrote a poem about it, Joe,
Called “A Trite Writer to Watch.” I will send it to you when I’m not so busy.
Well, it looks like I’m running out of time
Here. I have so much writing

To catch up on. I’ve been writing
Poems like this about a man I have a crush on. Writing
Sestinas mostly. Most of my time
Has been spent calling and stalking him. I
Really love him, man. I’m busy
Looking for a birthday gift for him, Joe.

Joe, I would love to receive
More of those post card collages if you have the time,
And you’re not too busy. Writing letters, and writing poems, can be so boring.

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