Geoffrey Himes

Love among the Ruins

I found my love among the ruins,
among the graffiti-swirled plywood storefronts,
among the bullet-pocked plaster of the barroom stucco,
among the broken bricks spilling out of the apartment facades,
among the sagging porches and tilted shutters of the subdivided houses,
among the rusting pick-up trucks, their axles propped on concrete blocks,
in the trash-strewn vacant lots where the wild lilies sprout,
on the saddened street corners where sweet songs still rise,
in the ashy shadows of the silent factories, I met her,
shining like a bare bulb hanging from dusty rafters in an empty warehouse,
talking like a busker’s trumpet about her plans for tomorrow,
sketching our names in chalk on the root-buckled sidewalk,
taking my hand and walking us through this Garden of Eden.


Ticket to the Library

After months on the waiting list,
I finally got a ticket to the library.
And it was a good ticket: two hours
with the 2048 edition of “The Tentacle Poems,”
one of only 350 copies, signed with a comment
by the author Kimberly Acton
and hand-silk-screened by the artist George Naughton.
Of course, I’ve read the book many times on the interweb.
In fact, I scrolled it across my Google Glasses just last night.
But this will be different; this will be paper
that Acton herself actually handled and wrote on,
and I’ll be handling it too, albeit with white gloves and a face mask,
but still, I’ll be touching what she touched:
the texture of the paper, the bleeding of the ink,
something no digatext can match.
By contrast, reading it on Google Glasses is just phone sex.
No wonder I have problems with relationships.
I’m so tired of symbols flashing across my lenses;
I want naked skin, raw fruits and vegetables, actual paper.
Maybe in four or five months, I can get a ticket for
Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,”
the 2051 edition with the woodblock prints
and handwritten annotations by Albert Lecroy.

Though Geoffrey Himes is best known as a music critic for the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Jazz Times, Country Music Magazine, Paste and others, he has been writing poems steadily since high school. One of his poems was chosen as “Pick of the Week” by the Best American Poetry website in January, and he has had poems in the anthologies Singing in the Dark, The Ground Beneath Our Feet, and Poet Trees: Poetry Hiding in Plain Sight. His poems have also appeared in December, Gianthology, the Loch Raven Review, Survision, January Review, and Salt Lick.

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