January 25, 2017
Tomorrowman

I am a tomorrowman.

Days runs up and down the veins in my feet, calves, thighs,
And cheeks.

I’m never out of time.

I say enough
When I have too much. Look at me, for instance,

Tomorrow—the day of the hurricane—

How I’ll lay piled on the bed,

Where I alone may say what’s garbage. Pleasure. Pity. Verse.

I’ll be in and out of my head, my mouth, where people’s faces
Will roam in herds.

I’ll seek fit words.

The circuit of the rain

Will be clean,
Will be a terrible fix, will be

Turning the wind.

Will be what I left in the yard.

Will be less present in that I’ll be
Writing it down.

What I’ll have, I’ll bury. Borrow. Build. And loan.

I’ll be available, in and out of my mouth
Will pass

Many people.

I’ll be speaking to them. I’ll be

Sweet,

And I’ll be angry.

I’ll want credit for what it is to be.

I’ll stand on top of the staircase and ask everyone to see me, while
The storm rages.

*

I saw myself.
I was what my nature wrote. I was a copy.

Electric, and full of fever. A transformer blown. Popped. Banged.

When I met myself

Again,

I preferred myself.

When cold spots rung my fingers, I was thinking of my future.

Tender,
My future.

Out of cash.

A body on
The floor, afraid of the great silence opening outside the door.

When that day comes, if I have nothing to say, I can still
Speak what I feel.

When that day comes,

I’ll feel as much as they say one should.

My particles will buzz like a green screen.

I’ll have tracers. In fact,

I have them now. In fact,

I’ve sung the future into me.

I hold a limb in another time, and when
I listen through it,

I hear the calendar hymn.

*

It is tomorrow.
I listen. I hear. I see tomorrow’s stars and planets,

Although

There is a silence between us,

I am able to stand it, as I am able to speak while,
By myself,

Tomorrow’s air goes thin.

I breathe my breath with my head in my hair.

All is well.
Take care.

Take care.

I walk around the edge of my land, framing sentences in
Phrases fine,

But in the end I am candid.

I am known for my candor. Follow me,

Though you will not hear me, I finish what I mean
To say.

True. It is nonsense.

Tomorrow has stolen it away.

I had
Tomorrow’s thought which wouldn’t stay.

A rabbit in the yard whenever I stepped outside.

Now gone.
Now

All this beauty back into beauty flows.

It will stoke
The iridescence of the ocean. It will

Toss stars around the surface of the sky.

Speak in tomorrow’s lines.
In tomorrow’s time.

*

I have my thoughts, even if I have no sense of them.
I speak in voices,

Try to sing. Listen,

Tomorrow’s marble’s mixed in red and white.

Tomorrow’ll dazzle. It won’t delight.

I live in a place that’s not my own. The clouds hover

Above
My almost home.

All night, phone calls stop and start. I’m known

For having an eye for a heart.

A mimic in the mirror,
Hear me do my

Hometown boy from a hometown place.

When I look at you, I look

Tomorrow right in the face. I’m tomorrow gone. Tomorrow
Stuck.

I may not drive around town in a big black truck, but

Watch me

Blow through this red light. Tell me
I don’t do it right.

*

I do it to myself.
In those crucial productive daytime hours, my hold

On the argument
I am building, the way I planned to build it—it

Gets away from me for how I feel about things,

That’s what I make here now, while I lay

Twisty and talky

In my room. I pull my feelings out my fingers.

Out
The hairs on my arms. Out

These boxes, these boxes get
Bent, get loose, and the day I’ll take care of it is

Always tomorrow, is

Always as rosy as it is weary, is
Always darting ahead on smooth pillows, sweetest

Bed. It’s the recovery.

Maybe there’s a half-life to these
Things, and I don’t flower quite as bright in the doorway

With a blue-button up, but I like to

Get better.

I don’t care

How much. It’s tomorrow I keep involved with.

I’m a busy fellow. While the deserts widen,
I let my lawn yellow.

*

Have we met yet? I’m here from tomorrow.
I’m here for tomorrow.

I’m a busy fellow.

I keep up with things.
I check your progress,

Reader,
As you turn over your cheddar and bean burrito.

I like you.

I like that you can tell the difference between when

The microwave door is

Open,
And closed, when a bite

Enters your mouth
Still frozen,

And when it’s just a touch cold.

You chew it up either way.
I do that too.

There’s something
Nice about things being not so great.

I like that we don’t relate.

That we’ve never gotten along.

That I could be talking aloud
Now like

I’m waiting in the train station,

Thinking
How else it could’ve gone.

How if I was going to travel by car,

It should’ve
Been with you. We would’ve

Gone swiftly,

In the manner in which I read aloud
As I type,

The manner in which one may pass

Into a black forest

After rain,

Wetted by blue, to

Find a house in the sun’s clearing has changed a little,

A lot.
And to enter it then, distracted, as a man in thought.

*

As a tomorrowman, I have tomorrow
Things—

My tomorrow limbs in my tomorrow clothes,

The tomorrow words I know.
The tomorrow mind I set forth

Is restorative, is
Enhanced. Is faulty.

Is a restless ache beclouding my stormy face

As days roll in their thunderheads.
As I feast, and am fed.

Apples on the table. Apples

In a basket on my porch, left by whom?

Does it matter,

When the hurricane will collect them, will hold
Them, will

Ring them round the neighborhood?

Everyone will get one.

Tomorrow. They are tomorrow’s apples,
And they are sweet.

*

I’ll tell you what I’ve done. Tomorrow,
I’ve been through it.

I can’t stand it.
I can’t say it again. And yet, tomorrow, I’ll say it,

Tomorrow,

Out of instinct, on rotation,

Happy or unhappy or gone back over or back out of what

I said—
I don’t know—I

Don’t spell it out in my head.

A page of paper shredded by the rain or
Decayed in a steady

Breeze—my constant

Pacing in speech, and here I am never weary of my melody,

In the hallway, speaking

To myself. It was
The sort of tomorrow when the mailman puts

A stack of magazines

Right into my hand.

Here’s
my tomorrow porch, where I pace back and forth.

I want to get better at this. From my green chair,

I divide, man and tomorrow.

I rise and smile and hope to be
Pursued.

A blue jay dies in my yard. I go in my shed, return with
My shovel, when all

The blood goes to my head. Oh! The jay in the bush.

It’s June!

Tomorrow is in flower. Each day is
Hotter in the afternoon.

*

I wake up. A bird sounds outside. It is, needless to say,
Tomorrow.

Tomorrow has arrived.

It is
A morning like most. I haven’t slept enough.

I walk down the blue stairwell

With the lights still off. I don’t feel

Burdened by

My routine.
Making coffee.

Checking on the cat.

Is this

How I thought it would be? I don’t know if I’ve kept
Track of what I thought

Enough.

How do you know if you’re hopeful for a future
That’s already here?

I feel so
Present I could disappear. In a second now,

I’ll walk out

The door, off the porch. I’ll call tomorrow’s name.

A strange same.

A tomorrow ordinary and not, as I walk down to
The concrete,

Between mind and sky,

And this tomorrow meet.

About the Author

Samuel Amadon is the author of Like a Sea, The Hartford Book, and the forthcoming Listener. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Lana Turner, jubilat, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. He teaches in the MFA program at the University of South Carolina, where he edits the poetry journal Oversound with Liz Countryman.


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