Parker Tettleton ~ Five Poems


An ass­hole is an ass­hole but I love a first sen­tence. The thing is there isn’t much of one—it’s just what you believe in from before you knew it to what exists past us. I’m watch­ing Jimmy. I’m watch­ing myself cross my legs. I am some­where in the midst of a morn­ing. I’m watch­ing no one. I’m cross­ing noth­ing. The rest of the sen­tence begins when you shut the help off.


25,000 To 30,000 Black Bears

I am a new silence in a new chair to the right of anoth­er new chair. The new sec­ond sen­tence is one of the win­dows in this new place, in our new place, is open. Our new city is still our city—our cries aren’t new, our laughs & hopes & dreams & what­ev­er the fuck we’re say­ing now isn’t new, either. If you’re going to ask about the title, you’re not new & what’s new about being new in the first place?


Mother Of Four

I’m the first offi­cer with a pair of hearts. I’m the gov­er­nor of my dear­ly depart­ed bull­shit. I’m sit­ting, think­ing, attempt­ing to look up a jump in the blood. The fourth sen­tence reminds me of nothing—not me, not you, not any­one we’d like to be. We’re qui­et, we read, we work.


I Saw Evelyn Today

I’m between a TV tray of cans & my pre­emp­tive dreams—Omar is being Omar. The sec­ond sen­tence is the fourth floor with no one but an Abby & you owe me a dol­lar. I win an umbrel­la & it starts rain­ing. I don’t believe it, but I ask, & there are plen­ty of deci­sive opin­ions. I can’t look out­side until I leave, & I’m on my way, because it’s been a long life. My wife & I like to laugh. We’re going to see my par­ents for a week. Love is like this: the joke is we both work here.


If Animal Trapped Call 410–844-6286

We order three piz­zas & a sal­ad, we wait for deliv­ery, & then we bring it over. We cross the street, between traf­fic, with three white box­es & one medi­um brown box. We see my father, wav­ing for us to come through a gate that skips the lob­by for the ele­va­tors. The four of us sit, talk, eat, & drink. My moth­er is beau­ti­ful. We say good­bye quick­ly & qui­et­ly. We wait, we wait, we cross the street once there are a few less lights com­ing ahead.


Parker Tettleton is a veg­an Leo liv­ing in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of This Is A City (Ravenna Press, 2020), Please Quiet (Ravenna Press, 2018), Ours Mine Yours (Pitymilk Press, 2014), Greens (Thunderclap Press, 2012), & Same Opposite (Thunderclap Press, 2010). More work & infor­ma­tion is here.