Day: July 9, 2023


Tetman Callis 0 Comments 4:57 pm

there’s a paving rig on the freeway just back of my house.
the windows rattle to the dull bass note pounded out by the machine.
the driver leans out from under his bleached orange parasol,
watching his work. i watch him through the kitchen window.
his white hard-hat reflects the pummeling july sun.

i go outside and sit on an old, battered bench in the diminishing shade
cast by a cottonwood tree. the paving rig paves.
i smoke dope out of a small pipe.
hungry orange grubs eat the tree’s leaves.

the grubs are the definition of voracious.
they leave the leaves a dying latticework above a drizzle
of dark-green droppings softly falling onto my shirt,
into the hair on my head,
onto the hairs of my arms,
onto the skin of my fingers,

into the bowl of my pipe and into the cat’s water bowl by the bench,
where the droppings expand like some novelty
purchased for pennies from the back of an old comic book.

the hard-hatted driver shuts his paving rig down for lunch.
i finish smoking my bowl. the day is hot and now very quiet.

(Published in High Street: Lawyers, Guns & Money in a Stoner’s New Mexico (2012, Outpost 19); copyright 2012, 2023 by Tetman Callis.)

how we keep the sabbathhow we keep the sabbath

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:26 am

my next-door neighbor mows his lawn early on sunday morning.
the gasoline engine of his mower is loud. he sees me,
smiles, waves and shouts a cheerful hi!
he survived the state pen, and since his release he’s been happy as a fresh-fed pup.

my next-doors on the other side scream their fucking-fuck-fuck-fucked
at every hour, night and day, day and night, all week long, month after month,
for sale sign newly-raised in the dirt of their easement.

this sunday morning, they have left off the copulation talk for the duration
of their breakfast. a pebble thrown by the mower’s blades
clangs the sign, ricochets in my direction,
skipping to rest at my feet where i wash my car by the curb.

(Copyright 2023 by Tetman Callis.)

Tetman Callis 0 Comments 6:19 am

“We entered the farmhouse. The smoky kitchen was high and spacious. The copper utensils and the crockery shone in the reflection of the hearth. A cat lay asleep on a chair, a dog under the table. One perceived an odor of milk, apples, smoke, that indescribable smell peculiar to old farmhouses; the odor of the earth, of the walls, of furniture, the odor of spilled stale soup, of former wash-days and of former inhabitants, the smell of animals and of human beings combined, of things and of persons, the odor of time, and of things that have passed away.” – Guy de Maupassant, “The Farmer’s Wife” (trans. McMaster, et al.)