Two Poems by Ted Powers

Our new poetry editor, Wendy Xu, has selected two poems by Ted Powers for her monthly series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.

Ted Powers, “The Years” (2016)


Physical Thoughts


Through pockets of air
they break open seams

and I’m in training
to get older. What

the world is
is what you are capable of

before you decide against it.
Meaning is a painful bearing down

in the seeds of a moment.
Small indelicacies prune the past.

I do a mystery to me,
an ax I drop on words.

I was going to say something.
I haven’t said anything in a while.



Like Devin in the Movies


Henry broke up with you and a weird-shaped hole opened in your free time.

We ate popcorn in front of a movie about a boy who was also a wolf

and everyone knew it but him. I wrestled you into basements of logic.

You kept getting loose. The bloated corpse of government shook

around a couple of laws. I sat down and worked on my screenplay

about a couple pitted against nature and nature is played by a bear.

Non-Henry kept hanging around, mucking things up, dragging

mud beyond the mud in our lives. I started a script about a woman

who couldn’t get out of space then it was over. We watched a movie

with the same plot as the wolf-kid movie except this time it was a squid

who was also a wolf, and everyone knew it but him. The seasons

kept churning out their small irregular surprises. None of them

pertained to us. We drove by a sign that read ‘End School Zone’,

zone crossed out with graffiti. You blamed Non-Henry.


*   *   *

Ted Powers is a poet and collage artist living in Massachusetts. He is the author of the chapbook Please Light Up (Slope Editions, 2015). His first full-length collection, Manners, is forthcoming from Mount Analogue. His collages can be seen here.


Readers are encouraged to submit 3–5 poems as a PDF to Wendy Xu for consideration at [email protected].

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