The ones that fall die young – Max Eevi

today's poem vertical

The ones that fall die young

My father showed me skimming
at a lake in Devil’s Bridge,
taught me how to keep the little thing
in conversation with the water:
flitting for the open-ended questions.
Wrap your fingers, as a gun, and watch
between release and destination –
“Everything is in the rock, and each rock
is the next best thing.” Perfect stones
are rounded gently at the bottom,
polished as a whisper. Sullen
Fragments of the mountain.
And then there is the throw, to which
all throws seem feeble in comparison.
Straight along and without bend or arch:
The ones that fall die young.

But I’m too old for lakes. So
nowadays, on visits to the sea,
The violence of the water
Stirs the nuisance in my soul.
And I go on, one after another,
Far away, for the new land, skimming.
Some crack the waves and drown,
Others flick against the current,
Lingering a moment by the swell
Then disappear, return in 20 years, smaller.
Houses, holidays and tax returns –
Strange, how that in every throw you tell a lie.
The water reels back revealing
Drafts of many colours, baying
For a part in the great nothing.
A pause and I am powerless,
The deckchairs are deserted.

My name is Nobody.
My mother, father,
All my friends
They call me Nobody.



Max Eevi was born in London. His influences include such writers as Barthelme, Bowles and Beckett. His work has seen the light publication in Journals on both sides of The Atlantic (Lighthouse Press, Wraparound South, Palooka Press, Glasgow Review of Books)

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