by Jesse Anger

              — for my father

We went to the Queen’s Hotel
for my thirteenth year,
shot stick in the back.

I chalked my cue finger up
smooth, bar rules. Green felt
smelt sour and two wonky rails

made playing the bank shit luck,
you’d best cut it in, you taught
between gulps of draught.

I’d call a kiss, play shape,
draw the cue ball back
through a miscued break.

Sacred Dave came in—
all three quarter length trenches,
Doc’s, your noir presents.

You had on garish paisley
under London Fog,
and long brown hair still straggled

down your back. I won
the last rack one handed,
cross side, and we got tossed

for pitching a stein. Outside
in your sienna Monte Carlo
you took two tabs of blotter,

said, I don’t know, then downed
them both with warm Black Label.
We drove Dave back home.

So Hard Done By came over the radio,
and we played a game called follow
the lone car on the road

far too close till they drive
slow and pull over— then bolt.
close but that’s not why

We circled the cul-de-sacs,
passed 718 John street— 
where I’d woken in blue dawn

to watch you turn and pull
away. It’s not what you
make, it’s what you leave

Marooned at the feed mill silo,
you kicked the matte black rim
and through tears snorted,

we’ll get ‘em— I don’t remember
getting home, that word
unsettled in me yet.


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Far Too Close is out of print from The Blasted Tree Store.


Contributing Author

Other works on The Blasted Tree:

Far Too Close by Jesse Anger is a composite of Blasted Tree originals and previously published work. For information about the publication history of Far Too Close, please read the Acknowledgements (Acknowledgements & Thanks).

ISBN [Digital]: 978-0-9938364-7-3

Cover Design by Kyle Flemmer - Cover Image by Dimitri Castrique