Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
It was snowing on the lake.
I could not tell
where land ended,
where water began
and the line of the horizon seemed like
a smudged erasure
Sudden Death in Middle Age
When I heard that he’d had a heart attack
on a flight from Boston to Detroit
I went out to water the pots of sage
that flourish with little attention
on our west-facing stoop.
Straining to hear the water
seep through the soil, I saw an ant colony
migrating in multiple files
across the sidewalk.
On my hands and knees
what had looked like an organized march
was a frenzied mob of thousands
trampling one another
as if trapped inside a stadium riot—
the way that painting by Seurat
looks like a sunny day in the park,
crowds of people lounging
on the banks of a blue river,
but stand too close
and the images divide
into distinct dots of color
that dizzy the head and nauseate.
At a Loss
What can I say to my friend up the street
who lost her baby boy
one day after his birth?
I script and rehearse.
There’s a leak in my attic
down the chimney’s face.
Grubs have browned the lawn.
Months go by.
Visiting a Friend Who Was Given Six Months to Live Eleven Years Ago
He carved the venison into thick pink slices,
poured the wine,
and took my hand in prayer.
Jason Tandon is the author of five books of poetry, including This Far North, The Actual World, Quality of Life, and Give over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt, winner of the St. Lawrence Book Award from Black Lawrence Press. His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal, among others. Since 2008, he has taught in the Arts & Sciences Writing Program at Boston University.
His new book of poetry can be purchased through the following link: