Richard Fox


Katinka Matson

Sputnik is up there, I think—

Sputnik is up there, I think—
a big armadillo or
toaster; I wonder if it
still works?

My father’s garden renews
itself from year to year—spikes
of loosestrife, chalky yarrow
& goldenrod.

I once walked through thyme gardens
& the wild thyme, too & ten
different kinds of thistle.

By day I serve champagne on
a tray to Wall Streeters.

I put up decorations in
shopping malls by night.

 

Rain

There is a season for
speaking with the rain

& the sky must know
which one.

The sky holds the rain
like a sigh in a bag.

At work you break,
just to watch the rain storm.

You are nameless &
voiceless. You drift

into a room & forget
why you are there.

This is where the town
once stood; this is how

things turn out. There are
proofs for everything:

pick one.

Garden Party

Leave the blogosphere
& go outside where things are
slower & more deliberate; a
satellite remains in orbit;
the sun is uncanned &
brimming like a martini.

Put your knives & forks
down together. Happiness
is wanting only one thing
& sits opposite contentment—
the wanting of nothing.

Fill your graves with
yourselves; lie next to
each other & crochet shrouds
for each other.

Oh what will the water
fill now—there’s no greater
calamity than water—
no pattern, no texture
& everywhere at once.

Lie in real beds & not just
the idea of beds. Send real
letters to each other:
the exquisite anticipation
& the wait; the exquisite
beauty in the objects:
you could write a book
about the growing of
a single blade of grass.

You could tell me about
every shift of green; the pluck
of ants & every lift of breeze paid
out in histories of lawn sprinklers;
the goings-on of sun & muck
& those greedy flowers, our mouths.

Me, Wanting Your Colors

You: dissatisfied with
the type & quality of
light arriving at your
home. Well, it’s a tall
order.

The flowers out here
in the garden are really
really nice. Still, you
are my roses. My crazy
crazy roses.

Remember
when we went to
the prime meridian?
You wondered if your
middle name would
turn out to be some-
thing else.
This is so you;

                    & you:
a shirtless man emptying
his pigeon coup: un-
ending spiral of birds
under a big sunset—
bodywork, not mind-
work;

            & you: a window
at midnight—me, wanting
your colors; me, wanting
to wear them out on the town,
dancing the night away.

Finch

Your name is no accident.
A little finch is,
but is no finch.

Make one fist
& it is your heart; make two
& you are a penitent.

It is enough for you to say
I, finch but there are
not enough feathers

on earth to flight you
even one inch. Who
knows what on earth

love is for? When
will it be your turn
to care for someone else?

You are sultry
to the core—
hot-brewed as birth.

Richard Fox is the author of Swagger & Remorse and has contributed work to many literary journals. He recorded a CD of his work in 2001. In 2006, he contributed the text for the exhibition Shared: Blue Bikes at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. In spring, 2007, his video installation for the 800 square-foot video screen at Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago was exhibited. He was recipient of a full poetry fellowship from the Illinois Arts Council. He holds a BFA in Photography from Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, and lives in Chicago.

Richard Fox at Bandcamp

Richard Fox at the Prose Poem Project

Richard Fox at Writing Machine