CL Bledsoe and Michael Gushue




Let’s practice how to count to infinity:
start by standing on the saddest man’s
shoulders, because he is surely the most
wise. Or, at very least, you might be able
to get some fresh air above the din of complaining
and denial. Next, look through a telescope’s
wrong end and have the saddest man
walk halfway to the horizon.
Count down from thirty-seven
or however old you happen to be
until the loss of protective reflexes
begins in the soles of your feet
and a medically induced coma
hovers over you like an angel
made of bobby pins and bits of colored glass.
Heaven has a middle name, and it is
Agnes. Once you are unconscious, dreamless,
unaware that you are unaware,
your body nothing but a sack,
you’ve reached infinity, a kind
of battery. Feel Agnes’ breath on your ear,
saying nothing. This is what the saddest
man has been trying to tell you.


CL Bledsoe is the author of a dozen books, most recently the poetry collection Riceland and the novel Man of Clay.

Michael Gushue runs the nano-press Beothuk Books and is co-founder of Poetry Mutual/Vrzhu Press. His work appears online and in print, most recently in Beltway Poetry Quarterly, the Michigan Quarterly, and Gargoyle. His chapbooks are “Gathering Down Women,” “Conrad,” and “Pachinko Mouth” from Plan B Press.