2 Poems

Andrew McAlpine

The Pale Blue

Beneath the pale blue is a blue
even paler. This dolorous blue cannot
be distilled into a hexadecimal string
but here I am, trying,
forcing this shadow to become
the deck of a glass-bottomed boat.
Opt to stay dry, to remove oneself
from a perplexity of feeling, lest the mind
rise through refraction, lucent juice dribbling
onto the palate. It explodes!
First bitter, then sour, then sweet
beyond what language can hold.
I turned thirty-two yesterday & already
I’m ready to call the cops to shut the party
down, down, downer. The stink of beer
replaced with a cornucopia of legal desires:
I want to withdraw all my appeals,
see the sentence carried out at last.
The sentence being this:
A tremendous morning, isn’t it?
As if I could counter that with a well-timed
discharge of information.
Instead, I will take what I have gleaned
from my feed & lay it at the foot of the nearest
cross-like object, for there are more things here
worthy of worship than I have space
to describe: the interstice between two
pencils on the concrete, the luscious crackle
of the loudspeaker before a voice manifests.
Look at me, knocked down & tuckered out!
My reverence useless before the glory
of a list of last names, each perfect when
rolled around the mouth, each to report
to the main office when time permits.


Who am I to deny
the ocean’s wash
a thing to feel
even a hundred & seven
miles from any coast
you are a 1979 Camaro
shredding exits on the Mass Pike
& beckoning me inside
for there are ramps to be jumped
by fearless animals
with a sense that their own
algorithms are beginning
to iterate beyond comprehension
I am witnessing
a parade of the creatures
we may someday become
a scrum of flesh & chrome
new receptacles for our best data
they stretch out their code in
a benevolence of information
leaving us to a puzzling over
we can only do in this room
empty save for the soft hum
broadcasting from the potted plants
massaging our thoughts
with their green noise

Andrew McAlpine lives in Amherst, MA. Recent poems have appeared in jubilat, the Atlas Review, Incessant Pipe, and the Curator. He is a member of both the Connecticut River Valley Poets’ Theater and Xfinity Theater, where he has played demons, henchmen, a werewolf, and Al Roker.