Bruce Robinson – Four Poems

Rain Delay: ground rules

The ground rules are

fairly simple, like language but

the ground rules are

also fairly explicit: four
syllables up first, then eight’s due,
first line and third as steady as

the ground rules are.

Their Romance

And then there was the time
which was faraday along

when John Riley swung
his woman up behind him

and yet the two of them
not unlike hands on a clock

were of dissolute inclinations
and the baffling winds harried them

toward disparate frays.


I don’t know about you; well, wait,
yes I do, you’re probably too young
to remember the time when Ozzie
sold the vase that Harriet had bought,

and then Harriet bought another…
you in on the joke yet? And Ozzie
went back to the store to buy back
that original, antique vase, which had been sold,

of course, just sold twenty minutes ago,
and our war weary brains began to assemble
that it was Harriet, finding its pair, one that Ozzie
convinces the store owner to retrieve from his buyer,

and nevertheless – I know this too –
getting and spending – what else
is there to do, god, this is a mess,
getting and spending we lay waste our prowess.


So he did that:

Put his pants on, one leg each time

so he did that,

put his socks on, one foot this time
until someone told him, helpful
as a dime, to keep his shirt on,

but he’d been there.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

I’m all about ugliness, far more interesting. The common pursuit of beauty perverts itself and becomes only what we’ve come to expect, the starry-eyed and unquestioning, the uninspiring and uninspired, the neighbor’s lawn. I grant you that my interest in ugliness is subject to unfortunate collisions with Studebaker Larks. But you know what I’d do to Baudelaire’s vitres de paradis….


Work by Bruce Robinson has appeared in Poetry Australia, Fiction, Onthebus, and Pleiades. His most recent work can be found in Yo-New York!, Pittsburgh Poetry Houses, Enclave, and Mobius.