Impatient, bored, bearing grudges,
I pick at the day like a carrion bird.
Trust is not a language I employ.
I expect the swindle, respect the clever con.
Working from five hours sleep
I claim the joke of the world,
like a jester’s motley and bells.
A series of retreats serve irony, service ego.
Years sober equal years schooled in cynicism—
for the easy, everyday excuse,
the sacrament of selfish regard.
I carry tension like a strangler’s cord.
I keep my emotions for
imagination’s imagery of soldier, insurgent,
the drifter descending from a desert train.
Raised on a time clock and the forty hour week,
I was trained for debt.
I make my own solitude.
R.T. Castleberry‘s work has appeared in Roanoke Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, Pedestal Magazine, Green Mountains Review, The Alembic and Comstock Review. It has also been published in Canada, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand and Antarctica. His chapbook, Arriving At The Riverside, was published by Finishing Line Press in January, 2010. Dialogue and Appetite (e-book), was published by Right Hand Pointing in May, 2011.