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Adrian Blevins

This Little Catalogue of Losses

is an old burlap sack that I soaked in pee and stuffed under the bed so it could possess the fusty venom I consider crucial for the remembering of

(1) my lost youth which was my innocence and which smelled roughly of cedar and cinnamon and (2) my optimism which was as flaxen and delicate as the wooly air above something opaque

and (3) my wildness which really was as wayward as the white flora of the mountain laurel assailing the bootleg vicinity.  And into this old sack that is in actual fact

a candid if partial register of my hitherto losses let’s put (4) time too or at least (5) some of the words for it like the minutes and the hours and the days and even the seconds

I had then that I don’t have now, though sooner or later you learn that another word for lost is gone and that another word for gone is tender as in knocked out as in grief-struck

as in what it all adds up to, which is just a sideways forest called Hard Times from which comes some tinny music from a high lonesome fiddle or from in my glum case

the guitar my father played before he went missing, another word for which is died.  So please for my poor father’s sake accept the insertion into this catalogue the real scarcity evermore

of the apparatus that wasn’t the steel thing people play on their laps called a Dobro but was rather (6) something high-up and slow but spirited in Daddy’s voice that people call a twang

and which is gone almost completely now from (7) my own talking like my (8) Buster Browns are gone from my feet and (9) my clarinet is gone totally from my heart like (10) my tape recorder

and (11) my Kingston Trio that was my father’s trio really, so I shall say in conclusion my (13) Hank as in my Williams as in (14) my grainy tape deck as in (15) my blue Toyota

as in (16) all those long and meandering back roads that got me here with just a little something luckily leftover out of which frowzled tonight to mourn. 

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