Poetry by Gordon Hilgers

hilgers

Read More: A brief interview with Gordon Hilgers

Dogwoods

What happened when white blossoms failed,
uncertain May, unexpected snowfall, nightfall’s
brief countryside slipped into sleet, companions
dead drunk in their tent, each elegant petal
a grounded mirror, more a deathly paladin’s ark,
each embellishment caskery, looming moon
no coverlet above icy dirt? I sat, set in my pace,
not soldiering into battles with myself, nor was
anything wrong with a shiver, there in blank escape
beside a guttering fire, mosquitoes killed, arch
that cold, until I, too, fell, sleep always a silent
reach of song, ineffable, perhaps mercy, my beer
gone until Monday. I imagine all the dogwoods,
the forest fraught with frost, angelic dresses
so easily shorn, windy gusts as I drug entireties
of fallen deadwood, embers then fed, chip-bags
a tinderbox, nothing to eat, slippage into memory,
those wide open woods, rusty road a dream.

 

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Brink

Edgy, halfway rum-drunk, unsuspectedly she
and I hung laughing, couched in her foreign beater,
two haphazard friends, an unnecessary radio
useless in being off, long wave of deep red hair […]


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Butterfly Noise

There was no color I liked.  The year joy
decided I had died.  There was not anywhere
I could behold.  There was one hand left
to grow like a geranium out of the grimmer
planters under the eaves of disbelief.  Who
was I supposed to believe if all afternoon
dead sidewalks greeted me to church?  Now
is where I would think I could go free, set
aside, a sale item, grocery store lockdown
monstrous as wingless butterflies scattered
around my world alone.  You could not hear,
not those thoraxes, skittering, tap dancers
working for small change like thrown steel
pennies from the war.  No one lives along […]


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Gordon Hilgers has had a long and storied career in and out of writing. His work has graced the pages of the Texas Observer, Tupelo Quarterly Review, Poetry Quarterly, Edgar Allan Poet Journal, Boston Literary, and a multitude more alongside his illustrious muckracking as an advocacy journalist who helped form the Dallas Homeless Coalition and the Dallas/HUD Contiuum of Care from scratch.