Talkativeness by Michael Earl Craig

Michael Earl Craig reads four poems from his collection Talkativeness, published in April by Wave Books.

Quick Sketch of a Bullet

There is a bullet here on my desk.
Tipped over on its side.
Its jacket is brass
and perfectly cylindrical.
It is cool. It is smooth.
Its weight is satisfying.
The tip—the actual bullet—
is blunt, is gray, is made of lead
and looks handmade,
like a carefully shaped dab
of gray mashed potatoes atop
its beautiful rocket.

As we roll this bullet back
and forth in the palm of
the hand, we can imagine its
precise dose of hidden powder,
waiting. This bullet. This
little can of something.
Something thoughtfully capped
with a quaint lead hat.

In closing I’d like to add that
you can actually write or draw with
a bullet. The lead tip is like
a very blunt pencil. And so I close
these thoughts on this bullet
by making with it a few straight lines
on a sheet of paper. By writing
my name. And date of birth.
And, “I am from Dayton.”
Then a few more straight lines.
The plainest lines imaginable.




the angel had no memories
the angel sat in the huge tree
high up in the huge tree

this angel with its massive wings

this angel with its massive folded wings
covered in hoarfrost

pessimism and narcissism go together I
just wanted you to know

for example I refuse to go to the holiday office party


although we pretended we could
we in fact could not see the visiting angel 

we saw only a shaft of light in winter
we saw only some winter light
the kind of light you most often see in winter



Monumental Painting

I am alone inside
my goggles. I am
blinking? Lately
things here have been
like a nose job gone
so very wrong.  We
have something
in common said
the heartless bitch,
figuratively stuffing
a dead 3rd husband
into the trunk of
their immaculate
Jaguar. Somehow
a slight breeze
inside my goggles—
& brass temple bells
being polished at
the temple, some
Osaka girls with
power buffers
stretching, reaching…
Everything just so
for a bell that
will never be struck.
Remarkable calves,
I bet, detained
in durable cotton duck.




He threw a dollar bill at her, as hard as he could.
It fluttered to the floor before it hit her.
She wadded-up a five dollar bill and bounced it off his head.

In the next room I stood very close to a mirror
and examined my teeth. The longer I looked at them
the more they looked completely foreign to me.


Excerpted from Talkativeness with permission of the author and Wave Books. Copyright © 2014 by Michael Earl Craig.