Tag Archives: Ian Willey

Ian Willey

Awakening

Not having watered the tomatoes for weeks
it was a surprise to find on the vine, basking
in an autumn sunrise, a pair of tomatoes, pale
and sunken like the breasts of an old widow,
who awakes one chilly October morning
and realizes now is the time.


My name is Ian Willey and I approve of this poem.

Ian Willey

The End

If the sun were suddenly to explode we’d have eight minutes
and twenty seconds before the shockwave reached earth
to annihilate everything, meaning there wouldn’t be enough
time to listen to “The End” by The Doors, though you could
play R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World as I Know It
(And I Feel Fine)” twice and still have twelve seconds left,
assuming you could tell exactly when the sun exploded
and press play right then, and you were awake,
with some time on your hands, and felt fine.


My name is Ian Willey and I approve of this poem.

Ian Willey

We Pretend

When she returns to the table having rushed off
for an emergency breast pumping, we pretend not
to notice the spot on her blouse and she pretends
not to notice our pretending not to notice and in
this way we get back to our prescribed agenda
while the spot, barely there to begin with, enters
the atmosphere of this climate-controlled room
with wood-paneled walls and a fantastic view
of the mountains though we try to keep our eyes
on the screen pretending this isn’t a struggle.


Ian Willey hails from Hartville, Ohio. Someone has to.


 

Ian Willey

Knowing That

You stand by the river knowing that the birds
flying overhead are people you once knew,
that they will never come this way again,
that the formation holding them together is a trick
of the eye, that there’s nothing you can do about
the gunshots rising from the reeds along the bank,
about the bursts of feathers and bodies whistling
as they plummet to earth, that without the hunters
the birds would take up every square inch of sky
and you’d never be able to see the moon,
that there’s no reason for you to feel sad
or envy the ones who manage to move on.


Ian Willey is an Ohioan living in the countryside of Japan, where he teaches, writes, and helicopter-parents.


 

Ian Willey

Middle Age

When we got married
I vowed I would not become
furniture in your home

yet here I am now
sitting around
a bit threadbare
and fading.


Ian Willey, originally from Akron, Ohio, resides in the Inland Sea area of Japan where he teaches, does research, and writes.


 

Ian Willey

The Shot Clock

There he was with his ball,
the clock on its back,
glass all over the floor,
and I started to lose it,
saying how many times this
and how many times that,
while he stood looking down,
eyes bulging and wild,
until I paused for breath,
and he broke in, saying look,
Dad, the clock is not dead,
to which I had no response
because he was right:
the second hand was moving,
approaching twelve,
meaning the game
was still on,
with seconds
remaining.


Ian Willey, originally from Akron, Ohio, resides in the Inland Sea area of Japan where he teaches, does research, and writes.


 

Ian Willey

Red Bandana

If I set off on my run early enough
I sometimes see that woman with the red bandana
coming back from her walk, arms swinging, full of smiles,
her legs long and painfully thin, like the screech of a pheasant
staking out its territory, somewhere in the brush
on the edge of the woods.


Ian Willey has spent his entire life living somewhere else.


 

Ian Willey

Replicants

I’m not sure when it happened
but someone has replaced our son with a simulacrum,
possessing the same DNA and general knowledge
but without the will to utter more than a syllable or two when pressed,
minus any interest in any of his previous obsessions
like the flight routes of major airlines (international and domestic)
or the ruling amphibians of the Devonian Period
or anything, really, apart from soccer highlights on YouTube,
who looks at the two of us as though we don’t exist
and never really did, like Santa Claus or the Loch Ness Monster,
Christopher Columbus and John Lennon,
and what disturbs me most
is that he may be right.


Ian Willey has spent his entire life living somewhere else.