Austin Beaton studied Spanish and Creative Writing and regret at the University of Oregon, where he was a finalist for the Walter and Nancy Kidd Memorial Writing Competition in Poetry. His work has appeared in The Stay Project, (b)OINK, Porridge Magazine, Voicemail Poems and is forthcoming in Oxidant Engine and the Angel City Review. He lives near the ocean in San Luis Obispo, California where he drinks flat H20 from a sparkling water bottle, bakes figs and gives nicknames.
2 poems by Austin Beaton
Elegy for a Perfectionist
Grey place past believing
achievement can save us
isn’t too treacherous. Out here
socks vanish in laundry,
plaque lies in espionage on teeth
chatter-laughing with a guy
you want to smooch but won’t
all still happening. You’d think from
grandma’s grandma onward
we’d have found some remedy:
hieroglyphics on parchment scroll
outing who shot Kennedy,
vial liquid of chronic ecstasy,
blue neon zero 1 zero 1 binary
floating behind the plaster
like a famous movie
popularizing simulation theory?
No chance. The year we sign
to Hallmark birthday cardstock
too high to expect a passport to Nirvana.
Now everything can be called coping,
a collapsing into 3:47, black morning,
thoughts flapping like birds
or bats, a whisper:
label everything. Hello, little
decade. If we name you failure
we have no future here.
And success? No future, either.
To Build Ole’ Hometown
Slide 7 corporate, rote
drive-thrus into a bejeweled jean pocket.
Tape a DO NOT USE note
to the prone-to-spark hardware socket
he don’t use Google to fix.
At the knock-off Motel 6 joke with the live-in
about taxes. Don’t ask if the camo helmet or crucifix
can warp the socioeconomic trend
hot-glueing wedding boutiques
to asphalt Main Street & bear spraying away
pickled-in-house kimchi, meditation, a university.
Listen the barber mutter: ain’t it just like yesterday
to barge in like this? Turn God’s knob to 95 degrees.
Witness you reconcile past & new in dream.