- Rock Zen #1
“Romance is nothing but a sack of lies/
But it is truth which I have come to despise.”
Leave the same words
in your mouth long enough
you’ll come to depend on them
like pebbles for your thirst
on a desert run.
- Rock Zen #2
“We didn’t know you’d break the bottle/
That the magic came in to use those jagged shards…”
If you are devoted to your pain
in the present, by all means
swallow that glass. Just be aware
the shards will break free in the future
to stick you on a good day.
- Rock Zen #3
“I believe I can see the future/
when I repeat the same routine.”
—Nine Inch Nails
Focus getting your children
ready for school today.
will help you understand why
Bigfoot eats the bones of his kin.
- Rock Zen #4
“Don’t get me wrong/he’s a nice guy/
I like him just fine/but he’s a mouth breather.”
There is no way
to kiss a mouth breather
without tongue. None.
You must weigh this against
the burden of regret.
- Rock Zen #5
“Transpose, or stop your life.”
If you wake in thirty years
with these same thoughts,
it will not have been
a bad dream, it will be
a waste of infinite resource.
Jack B. Bedell is Professor of English and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Southeastern Louisiana University where he also edits Louisiana Literature. He served as Louisiana Poet Laureate 2017-2019.