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A Poem by Adam Fitzgerald

A Poem by Adam Fitzgerald

Author: Poetry Editor

November 8, 2016

This week, a poem from Adam Fitzgerald’s latest collection, George Washington.




Palookaville, no more! Do you know what we did
with the beach balls? Never had them. But
swimmies represented achievement in water breathing.
Much like on turkey day, when floats lard the sky
and a tumorous squirt gun orients us home.

You make a metaphor of tan lines, garble grunge
in garages where cobwebs nest and fizzle,
leaves of diplomas straightening helmeted snow.
The day ends by doctored dickering, corn puffs.
Blankets of soon and almost there.

The real world’s over. What’s left are inalienable alloys,
whiffing slippers, a society of doughnut fins that flutter
around kiddie wheels espying germ hoods.
Gassy roses that underlie the existential sense
that in the grand motel lobby of life, cum cars come.

If you could sing a little in my pants, we’d come back
to the splintering point, take our slogan summer to its origin,
a myth of Verizon and greeting cards, days of our lives.
Inescapable trial, celebrity murder. Your
theory squiggles like a liver aloft, experiential, vectoring.

What my green scum says is mute. Consummate paranoia.
But the lectern is brick, and we toss it—they die—
one at a time, a Danube of bureaus, lady parts, no nuts.
Butter mounds of pancakes on the earth. So a
family finds entertainment—among prolix warning labels,

malformed neurons, the fat queen mattress of a burned-down
house. What difference does the white light make
humming in the house when shades drawn, death final.
What difference these seascapes that trim whitecaps.
I hold your hands the way a wig sleeps at night.


ADAM FITZGERALD’s new book of poems, George Washington, was published by W. W. Norton’s historic Liveright imprint in September. He lives in New York City.

“Elegy in a Courtyard Marriott” from George Washington (c) 2016 by Adam Fitzgerald. Appears with permission of Liveright/W.W. Norton. All rights reserved.

Photo by Steven Williams
Poetry Editor photo

About: Poetry Editor

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