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Reliable Temp

by Sam Bodary

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Overshadowed by the things we’re told We chase each other through our ventricles In nooks of ill repose We pose ourselves akimbo Casting compost into self-conscious prose What a burden it is to eat I stuff myself just to sleep But when I wake up the burden repeats Never leaving me free A Brown-eyed young writer to be So I guess I’ll have to speak My mind to good lady entropy I'll ignore her little smile Turn the key and say thanks for the ride But there's barely time to breathe Our eyes draw lines of need And nothing else will matter, no, Once I’m caught in her undertow With toe to toe and cheek to fading cheek And beneath this couch we’ll misplace irony What a curiosity When my heroes chastise me As I leaf through their pages and read Torn asunder by the thundering neat freaks From the biceps to obliques So I guess I’ll have to seek My answers in the campus library Staring up up at the shelves All those surnames so potentially ourselves And all the men tell me You’re young and still naïve You’ve years to work and life to breathe Before you write good poetry Cause nothing you sing now will ever last No nothing you play now could ever last
Paint me with skin white and hairless Fetch me fingers pale and wrinkly Let me crawl on the ground All sides ankles abound Brush rake my knees Mulch the dirt beneath me Businessmen cross isthmuses In the kitchen Plucking out hairs That crawl everywhere Back to Dayton As boys cut down weeds and Climb up trees Lease me cheeks cracked and rosy Tie my arms to the high school Show me the men who can’t cry Never any reasons why Scream at the red brick wall Cause boys play basketball But you’re a virgin lover of modern fiction You don’t trust men who cover their contradictions And pay for their mistakes in free rebates Fashion me caffination And absentee infatuation Rend me incomplete Starve me ever patiently I will succumb To most anyone With necks that smell of old bookshelves Back in Newport And lips that smile at lonely pedophiles On the levee Who stare me down with sober intuition Melt me down to a bottle Sculpt me with soft enamel To a charming black relief Then burn me by that street Convince everyone you meet You don’t regret a thing Leaving us all to perpetually fall Back in Nashville Forever appalled at the mess of it all Off of Acklen Where you made up all these mundane stories Tell the living room You’ll be home soon You’re just saying hi to the frogs and the flies Back in Newport Past I-65 to the west of Cincinnati
Unjust temporality stops me when I try to breathe the scenery With a sugary sincerity I'm back to my to do list after this stop and frisk But by the time the light is off the sun is bryter later than it was just then And that wistful brown-eyed daughter just behind her failing father disappears from me, nothing to see, blame temporality She says daughters are just potters hoping someone stops and takes the time to look around But young male window shoppers always break pots in her sweet shop and walk away So she's working from home now, taking photos and uploading her wares online Seeking sublimation and some odd choice incantations in estate sale lines If I lay myself to sleep Will life catch up to me I'm waiting outside the house I'm in my parent's grey van Flamenco on the radio Will I die alive And the man with white hairless legs from countless years in pants with pleats and button flies Stands idly by the boys on the court, wasting their sweat between the service lines Oncology, herbal teas, and hidden knee injuries they keep him up at times Then shove him down the escalator tear his sweaters turn back and yell see you later He says family is mutual responsibility shaped by habit He says money only makes you happy only if you lack it And pleasantries and kindly deeds are more for me than any fool that believes me when I say that So please my daughter don't I every catch you saying that Maybe he thinks If I lay myself to sleep Will life catch up to me? I'm waiting outside the house I'm in my parent's grey van Flamenco on the radio Sweat in the stitching of the steering wheel Fingers in the window fog Will I die alive? And right now underground I'm sure a couple dozen boys discover suicide They laugh and cry and lie there hoping that they're not the last ones left alive tonight With teenage glows and menstrual woes they'll stumble up and out the pit of adolescent life Wake up the next day still high, hung out to dry like cowhide on the low tide of sunrise braced to find, whatever's left to find, what their mothers left behind If I lay myself to sleep Will life catch up to me? I'm waiting outside the house I'm in my parent's grey van Flamenco on the radio Sweat in the stitching of the steering wheel Fingers in the window fog Seats they're all bowing down behind me Spent rubber in the fast food cup Will I die alive?
Recipes 02:15
Sons tear all the covers off of the bed now Wake up your fathers The ghosts rubbing their eyes stuck in the closet Live on the porch now With papers in tow With bills for water and wifi Things you never knew were sold Cause nobody told you Girls grab his old tools nail the wet plywood Over the windows The world is weathering down your ramshackle fortress Made on the weekends Hiding from friends And family No trace of his recipes Just all these old magazines Trash ebay or donate Let’s make some piles Then get back to our lives The sooner we die the sooner they eulogize In white-lies and sound bites Make us sound nice
I hope you never hear this I hope you’re fast asleep I hope your eyelids flutter With every colorful dream I hope you teach my sister To love her lack of sleep I hope you melt her mister To puddles at your feet I hope you grow up slowly So I have time to see How cells divide and conquer How one and one make three I hope you fight your mama And throw all the food that she wants you to eat I hope you yell at daddy When all you need All you both need is sleep I hope find somebody To love you blind and young But when they up and leave you I know you’ll plod along I hope you scare your father When you leave the place you’re from Your mother waving goodbye What a woman you’ll become So go to sleep Emmy you need Plenty of energy
I am not a painter but I like to play with colors I can see Holding two dimensions in my left hand while I set the other free And no its not a masterpiece but each one seems a little more complete And it helps me calm my nerves and it makes it easier to go to sleep I am not a lover but I like to love some people quietly Listening to couples talk in coffee shops while I sit down to read I don’t know if envy has any locomotive properties But I’ll shovel green into the fire in that engine room and make them scream And I won’t be known as a doer of anything I'll just work behind the scenes making lives a bit more lovely I am not a thinker, but I like to think you think about me too And if that isn’t true I’d like to think I’d wanna hear that from you But I think I know too well that I’d rather make a fort in my living room Make a sign, say no girls inside, convince myself its not a tomb And I won’t be known as a doer of anything I’ll just sit there on the stairs taking notes on the living things And I won’t be known as a doer of anything I’ll just sit there on the stairs taking notes on the living things


If you're able, I'd humbly ask you to pay whatever you think it's worth, though don't sweat it if you can't. Your time spent listening is worth quite a lot to me already. So thank you. Seriously. Thank you.

Recorded at Pinckney Pines one week in the middle of August 2014.


released January 3, 2015

Songs written and performed by Sam Bodary.


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Sam Bodary Columbus, Ohio

I am a human and I bashfully try to connect with other humans sometimes.

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