Ghost Love Child (and other poems)

Ghost Love Child

Through the warm and glowing tubes
where? Back here, recessed?
We're in the head. In back.
Better. I feel it there
unsorted and moving
next to nothing, those boulders
that will never move again:
regret, limit, hazard
of body where my river flows.
It overwhelms the immovable.
That's despair right there.
I rise to the ghost love child.
Despite having means
we're alone on the road.
They want neither of us.
I slept through the clutter,
the drama, the toothless residue
on memory, back in the back
trying to adjust to a single
frequency that escapes me
and my child, like the road home.

The Undertow of Time

Let's not have nothing today
when old marriages and new lovers
are at their best on a gentle beach
with shorebirds at our feet.
Nothing is the easiest option.
It flees from overlords and disloyalties.
So, is it that bad in the next county?
The Earth's crust slipped me there
where the alfalfa is just as green.
I think I'll prove there's not nothing today
by noting things that were and still are:
old magazine film clips, tools, and recipes
kept in cigar boxes, poems,
vows, even grudges to some degree
that keep me from returning to hurt.
I'll lose count with a walk down
the beach. Such is the overflow
exceeding the undertow of time.

If You’re Not Too Busy

And why is the finished phrase correct?
Or almost always? Language is the map
of culture and history so Time, speak up!
My regular walk on the beach on the dust
jacket photograph should have been
a pencil sketch that I could revise easily.
The sand got to it and the wind
and dark brooders flocked in
with their lone dogs on the strand.
Beneath feeling well is persistent illness
of heart and forgiveness lost in the suffering
that overwhelms fine times and good luck.
Ordinarily, today would not be now but it is.
It would be the recollection of everything
now could not withstand. Now is enough              
for today since I had not planned a visit,
my car parked a little sideways at the curb.
Let me fix that and I'll come in for a bit.
If you're not too busy.

Excuse My French

Unwind! Take charge from the nullifiers!
Get up, sleepers, it's time to march!

I'll throw away any beginning. It's like
a film, toss the first ten pages

and we're back on budget! Too much
exposition - on with the chase!

Noteworthy is the acceleration
of talk concerning crow's feet

and how it gives a smart bird
a bad name. I always angle

against petty justice so excuse
my French but may the hurt 

step forward. See. Nobody.
There will be no advocacy

without constituency.
March on past the cowards to live

and let live. Tornado watch today.
Such weather we've never seen here.

Because we've never been here long.


  • Lawrence Bridges' poetry has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, and The Tampa Review. He has published three volumes of poetry: Horses on Drums, Flip Days, and Brownwood. You can find him on IG: @larrybridges.

  • Photographs of EastOver courtesy of WM Robinson.