Matthew Langley


Letters Toward Jim
after Philippe Soupault


One / Two / Three / Four

                          Dear Jim,

Easter and
“I don’t like alotta action in the pulpit”
but the lights go on, ceilings burn
and the dead stay where they are.
O those expert carcasses,
tomorrow gets the business
in this epic of sleep and horror
where one is in want of only
two things:      enter bedroom
                      smell the effort


           Dear Jim,

The fine, fluent
motion of the mail
lulls me to sleep.
I sleep with the window open.
I sleep like a man alone.
A lighthouse goes dark.
I am at the end of my rope.
I have eaten my horse, my bird, rats,
and my woman.
I am really at the end of my rope.
I go into the gallery swollen with Italians.
I see you down there from here.
It is what they call
“morning” and old
men sing to make a city
out of the miraculous.


             Dear Jim,

Being young since morning
you may vary your days
elegantly dressed in pigeon
blood loafers; the mailman
and his logic arrive with the packet.
A sweet wind coming in.
The lake. A cup of wine.
She’s asleep, hasn’t taken in a thing
since Iowa, its tickled women
and a garden gate.


               Dear Jim,

Everything has gotten bigger
since yesterday. Near the park,
the tomb sits behind a flock
of cormorants; slow barges extend
the circle without blemish.
I will never make it to your house.

past simple home