The Art of Depression: CL Bledsoe/Tony Mancus


Tony Mancus is the author of a handful of chapbooks. He lives with his wife Shannon and three yappy cats in Colorado and serves as chapbook editor for Barrelhouse.

CL Bledsoe is the author of seventeen books, most recently the poetry collection King of Loneliness and the novel The Funny Thing About… He lives in northern Virginia with his daughter and blogs at (with Michael Gushue).

In a Late Stage

We will be the fossil fuels

of the future, so be thankful

for the pressure. A yellow-

flavored sense of imprecision.

An ambivalent taste in the air

whenever certain fabrics

are mentioned. Your heartbreak

will load right after this ad

for a shell-less hard-boiled egg

maker. The shell is what’ll

fold first – so brittle in its holding.

You take your cues from the dryer

lint. Whatever’s left over

after something’s been cleaned

soundly. You pull your yolk

out in chunks to test how done

it should be. The ad runs right

through the blank wall where

your shadow’s been purifying.  

It’s breakfast time. You can make

bacon out of eggplant

if you’d like a different kind

of murder. Sit and stare

and chew and listen to the blood

trying to escape the wood paneling

on your chest. It’s important

to keep the machine running until

the buzzer tells us it’s over and we

can rest. It’s important to nod

when your failure to recognize

the difference between feelings

and features comes pre-packaged.

The light in your eyes dim

as a ten-watt bulb. The fog

in your horn spilling out

like only fog can.

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