low voices

God and i talk all day

in low voices. i’m driving

and he says something like


“did you know

the air pressure in one of those semi-truck’s wheels

is so great that they sometimes explode?

and when they do, they shoot off the axel like a rocket.

if you happen to be driving beside one

at just the right moment,

three hundred pounds of steel and hot rubber

comes smashing through your window

and takes your head clean off.”




“yeah. it happens every day, only

you don’t hear about it.

and do you know why that is?

because no suit makes a dime off random tragedy.

we’ve got home security systems,

public service announcements

for the endangered polar bear,

your choice of six dozen drugs

to keep you from bathing with your toaster,

but when it comes to those “unpreventable” events,

those deaths which have no patented and affordable cure,

mum is the word.

it kind of makes you wonder about things, you know?

like the connection between governmental policy

and the booming industry of medicine.”


“holy shit. take it easy on me, big guy.”


and he laughs,

“what i’m saying is that life is a gift,

and there’s really no time to shake the box or guess

at what’s inside. rip off the wrapping.

become a rock star, a monk, a father, a junkie

if that’s what you want. stop trying and just do.

roll down the windows, stomp the pedal,

but for Christ’s sake enjoy the ride.”


i’m feeling almost convinced

until some daft bitch cuts us off

in traffic, i punch the dash hard and

damn everything to hell.


a man picks up a lady of the night

a man picks up a lady of the night,

pays her to lie in bed beside him

’cause i’m afraid to die alone, says he,

pulls a gun from the pillowcase and

paints red the rented room.

he said [she says]

his dog don’t like loud noises


he wrote

the only end for me would be

to be dragonflies whose wings beat

in perfect and effortless syncopation

toward a torn-open hole in the sky

[six legs wave goodbye]

hauling down monuments to the tune of our instruments

blooming, but still asking why


lord God bless and curse the martyr who

fell madly in love with his own reflection who

[drunk with pride] dove headfirst into shallow water who

came face to face to face his sorry self

and the bottom of thy swimming pool in autumn

[for he was]


lost in thought / buried by leaves / reborn into the light


may the dog eared pages of his volumes speak

boldly through the throats of future ghosts forever

and ever amen


Elias Van Son


Elias Van Son is a young artist living in the Catskill mountains of New York. His writing has appeared in ATOMICA, In Preparation, The Angle, and elsewhere. His first full-length book of poems Little Feather was published in 2009 by Some Blaze Free Press, and an EP of his language-based music is forthcoming from Steak and Cake Records.

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