Two Poems by Bobby Parrott

My Guitar’s Persona Remembers Everything to Do With Rainbows

String-driven box, sound hole embedded eye 
in black hole solar plexus. Chesty release valve 
that pranks in struck parallels, drug pearloid
plectrum crossing pickets into chords, lockdown 
babybabble be damned. Ruptured mindless,
I wear my love like a cloudburst. Carbon-footprint 
purifies the remote helicopter toy in the garage, 
so I take the submarine to work instead, then suffer 
open parentheses before skipping into full-blown 
comma. This poem makes a box. A cabinet of clocks
missing their string-driven wings. My instrument 
Jonathan Livingston's bridge Seagulls me awake. 
If the wind is right, we float up, trace in the moon's 
ivory gears. Entire forests, cumulonimbus bodies 
mired inside mental wind to re-fructify substantial 

in our fingers. I mother him, and the lyric in
our mouth digs the dirt that fills us. Lavender tea
petals arrive on a breeze. In Jonathan, we pale
Canadian, even if only for the border guard of bar-
chords fingering our inlaid neck. Dreadnaught 	
torso, buttercups in my arms, my coffin topped
by a spray of daisies. Firearms don't interest us
like the instrumentality of a sound box. Where soul 
meets body there's a race-car made out of faerie 
wands you can string out like a locomotive. This song 
is either about finding one's true calling, or death.

A Literary Life

Papier-mâché hearts rev your umbilical engine, their gush of 
syntax scorching the jet white sky expanding in your chest. A 
vibrato of woodwinds ghost Aeolian in the ivory blur of the 
conductor's baton. 

You score words onto staves, detune the orderly foundation of the 
universe, trust in the lavender breakers as they crash about your 
head. Letters of rejection hover massive above your first draft, 
and your house engulfs you like the twenty-thousand days since 
your arrival at this nexus, this circus of sidewalk chalkings. 

You revise this draft from time to time according to audience. 
After all, the grade-book is still open. And the piece isn't due until 
the end of your life, maybe the day before tomorrow. But don't 
worry, judgment broken into bands of vulcanized tread-life won't 
lose head to your final publishing house. Leave that to the 
sleeping tigers, the kindling editors pull from your various 
screens of static. 

The next draft dispels the erroneous inkling you're an actual 
person, alludes to music you've never recalled, kneels down to 
accept another dose of your self-hatred. And no one wants to 
rewrite that. Your book looks beyond you, doesn't buy into that 
whole illusion of self, anyway. 

There is no final draft, only the rain as it exhales the names of 
trees smothered to extinction, a whispering mist of summer truck 
tires swishing down the interstate.


Bobby Parrott's poems appear in Tilted House, RHINO, Rumble, Fish Quarterly, Atticus Review, The Hopper, Rabid Oak, Diphthong, Exacting Clam, Neologism, and elsewhere. Wearing a forest-spun jacket of toy dirigibles, he dreams himself out of formlessness in the chartreuse meditation capsule known as Fort Collins, Colorado.