Some Ideas, a Scene, and a Star-Studded Cast

by Patrick Pickering

Summer Fragment Mash

go running
voice in my head
sit on recliner
in present time

polish up work
lists fill my planner
sun reflects off concrete
im skating outside

is this frozen in time?
is this frozen in time?
is this frozen in time?

it’s two in the afternoon
im out the car walking the parking lot
into the grocery store for an apple
a cup of yogurt
and a can of coffee

July 25, Early AM Hours—(Christmas in July)

Hardwood floors covered in shoes
Stacks of books surround the bed
Laundry in a corner

My elbows support my weight
Knobby and rolling against board
Belly flat my ribs expanding

Hannah pinches my butt cheeks
Lol at myself as I type
Butt cheeks

Four stanzas in and u read
I’m in the bedroom of a friend
Listening to conversation between her and my lover

untitled expression no. 1

my reflection in a puddle walked through
stretched and rippled
a portal to my past or future selves
loads of dreams
heartaches and television
recognizing people in life

my dad asleep on the couch
head back mouth open
tucked under blanket of sound
commercials football investigative crime
beer can still in hand
glints under the ceiling lights
leaning and teasing defeat

my mom at work
in meetings or car
driving from charlotte to
salisbury to statesville
to charlotte in a day
to be glue for our family
bridging the gap between
distance and age

my brother at his desk covered in paints
pens for drawing on paper
later tattooing on skin
inspires me with still concentration
always with head down lamp on
pushing his path in intended direction
all through the night while we party in bars
the hours between ten and two

my youngest brother still back at home
under mom’s watchful eye
looking for holes in mounds of dirt
the center console of my honda civic
overflow with postcards from u
sometimes scrawled in red colored pencil
my hope to keep changing in life

my friends working day jobs
grocery stores restaurants
retail cloth shops serving the tourist
industry to make ends meet and pay
for parking and at night making
art and music to balance
talking till late night about
jazz and old country songs
laughing at situations made light
popped tires in the driveway
watching skate videos on the couch
giving time and always catching up

my love in front of me
arms wrapped in pretzel embrace
we laugh in the car
we laugh in bed
we laugh out loud
specific places never matter
a muse to me in how to be with family
writing our names in the cement of our world
a heartbeat for u

my skateboard a bottomless well
that overflows into all aspects of life
introduce me to more of the world
introduce me to more of my friends
blessed with mobile community
i raise arm pouring back into you
another cup
i blessed by your treasures
and lessons in failure
and determined persistence
knowing u is knowing i can do

myself typing away on recliner
or porch in starlight
sound of cicada loud this summer
seeing all u in mind
and heat lightning above mountaintops
heart feeling full and golden
i have something to smile about
while i fly my dizzying circles of love
over u

Patrick Pickering is a skateboarder and writer living in Asheville, NC. He recently graduated from UNCA with a bachelor’s degree in English/Creative writing, and has been interning as an editor for The Great Smokies Review for their spring and fall 2023 issues. His poems have been featured in UNCA’s Headwaters and in Sink Hollow Literary Magazine.