Two Poems

by Tyler Gobble

Canny Valley

I’m just gonna look my head in here
For a second, my antlers lemon-
Colored and honed to illuminate
The rhythmic shapes we all are.

A blue egg on the edge of the stadium.
A throbbing can of what?
Beans and teeny tiny potatoes.
A hat with a propeller along Electric Avenue.

This city threatened to destroy me through vibration.
A bacterial scientist prods deep and soon,
No more need for handwashing.
Just dip your hands in this goo each morn.

I can’t believe it—bow down, or ow!
Down we go along the avalanche.
You talk a big snow, says the first tree.
It’s my turn again, says the avalanche

And we keep on rolling, the growing snowball.
Accumulated then lost to the fire below
Like an article well-written and called
America’s 100 Best Trout Streams.

Like liquor in a dry county, swigged and swallowed.
Like the last of a bug species fucking in the strand of a piddly tree
Scheduled to be chopped down tomorrow.
It is winter, much like a void, perhaps.

A Murder of Ponds

after Nicanor Parra

One pond undresses itself in front of the jury.
Another pond flirts through a megaphone outside my window
And there goes my bejeezus.
One pond has no clue what to do
With these trees. Another pond is crystal meth.
More ponds in the distance coughing.
I am with you—I have no clue what to do
With these ponds. No clue
Where they came from.
One pond swimming inside itself.
Two ponds fussing at the birds for their ratty hairdos.
Three ponds still like a ship on a shelf.
Four ponds split into thirds.
Another pond, another pond, another pond.
More ponds with their own institutional power.
One pond serves another pond.
I thought I found a cooperating judge
But it was just a pond with a very clear voice.
This pond welcoming a child.
That pond frozen but not over.
That is until someone swallows and then
Like a miraculous fruit in a dull sky
The someone sings and sings and that’s it.

A proud Hoosier, Tyler Gobble is currently a poetry fellow at the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas and a teaching artist for Badgerdog. Alongside Jennifer Whalen, hehosts Everything Is Bigger, a reading series in Austin, TX. His first full-length collection, MORE WRECK MORE WRECK (Coconut Books), is available from SPD. He prefers disc golf, sleeveless shirts, porches, and bacon. More at

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