You Still Got It


Put a prisoner around a horse and it will teach them

patience and empathy. If you ever rolled a younger

sibling up in a yoga mat and told them they were a torpedo,

to be at the ready, this too instructs patience, purpose.

I donít think that is wrong. Iíve never done that

but if you did thatís some good inventive thinking.

If you were not making child torpedoes you

were gathered with us at the super store, protesting

a bag of e coli spinach. We are a nation of glands

who love to protest, despite the cause. Some

wielding items found in the trash:

a keyboard, a carpet sample, a bookend.

Everything invented has been used for evil at least once.

Itís that general feeling you feel when the feeling is at

the feelingís peak. For years, I searched for the right laces for

these shoes, awaited my custom embroidered sweatshirt.

Iíd run around the track squealing out to myself in third person.

Later, looking for work in Hartford, I walked into

the Colt Factory. When asked if I had any experience with

firearms I drew the most elegant pistol on their Post-It pad

and said, call me. Boys will be boys with their guns.

Just like you donít let little girls near old wells.

Itís a thing they have in their frontal lobe, later that feeling gets

replaced with ponies and it becomes a bit more manageable.

You just get a dog and it tends to work itself out.

Today I put before your eyes the most scrumptious morsel

of memory. Through the back channels of an Irish pub comes

the half remembrance of a first date.

There we are all horded together like warm bees in winter.

The house salad reminds you of her hair; shiny,

with nonsense trinkets atop it. You recall saying, had she

been a captured activist you would come to her chamber

carrying a sack of skeleton keys, your lucky garage door opener. 

Yeah, you still got it, an outlaw chasing trains of thought

firing blindly into the caboose.


Eric Amling's most recent chapbook is Nine Live Two-Headed Animals (Greying Ghost 2010). Work and future work can be found at