Two Poems for Russell Edson
Before the old poet died,
I had planned on writing him.
Russell, does this work for you?
I ask him. No, Noah, this really
doesn't work for me. Alrighty,
I say to him. Wait, maybe
we’ll do something here, he says,
write down the word ‘cannon’
and flip me over and rub
my eraser head on that word
like a match on the side of a stone
face. I'll make that graphite
smudge like smoke—you’ll call me
The Cannon Man, and I’ll call you
Russell Edson, Yes, Noah Boah?
Can we make a house together?
Sure. And it shall be made of snow.
But then it’ll melt in the summer.
Thank God, I'm thirsty, aren't you?
Outside the inner circle there's a larger circle
Outside the larger circle there's a tree
Outside the tree there's a pond
Let's move it two feet
to the left, one boulder mover
says to the other.
Why not two feet to the right?
says the other.
Well damn it, Monica,
cries the first boulder mover,
there's a tree there.
Noah Burton's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Paperbag, The Puritan, Outlook Springs, Cruel Garters, among others. He is a recipient of the 2015 Dick Shea Memorial Prize in Poetry judged by Tanya Larkin. Noah lives in New Hampshire where he works at a burrito shop, adjuncts at local colleges, and plays in the occasional band/perpetual solo project, House of 1000 Sports Cars.