Aaron Belz, Thermos‘s blog poet for early September, lives in Upland, California. His work has appeared in Boston Review, Fence, Painted Bride Quarterly, Black Clock, and other places; his first full-length book, The Bird Hoverer, was published by BlazeVOX in 2007. His second, Lovely, Raspberry, will be published by Persea Books next April. We hope you enjoy his poem!
MESQUITE BAR CODE SQUIGGLIES
I made the mistake of reading Indian Barn
as a racist reference. Of course it wasn’t,
and Aunt Coronary corrected me politely.
It was an artifact of antique Iowa & common
as a disembodied duck bill, or a flugel horn.
Perhaps this teaches us not to read
Indian Barn; just let it set there in the breeze.
(Aunt Coronary neglected to refresh these teas.)
Of the seven things exposed to breeze
in this psuedoaquatic environment, only one
begins with X and also ends with X,
and it’s obviously not Indian Barn, but it’s
important. I made the mistake of not learning
to spell, long ago, as a wee spry yearling.
Aunt Coronary’s fireplace is flanked
with shelves bedecked with geodes and
barnacle, snapshots of haybailers, statuettes.
The exposed thing could be a mattress;
it could be a tilting stack of flag stones.
But what it actually is is an X-large box
emptied of its contents: you fill it.
I pulled it out of yonder fuselage aflame.
Printed on it stylochronometrically: “Indian Barn.”
I repaired it with homemade appleskin glue.
(Printed on me: a variety of tattoos.)