The radio stations wrestled like cave-things 

dying to be heard. Deaf & eyeless, bright 

shatterings of teeth locked like gear-work.

Knowing so well that to ever subside 

was to never exist, so thrashing on for audience, 

until the moment my shirtless father leaned

through the greenhouse heat of the idle 

flatbed, & coaxed the Milwaukee Brewers 

over decades of open lake. I will never

watch baseball on purpose. But even now, 

when I am in a boredom as vast & blinkless 

as a salt flat, I will listen: take my knife 

& carve something from the shivering static, 

whole innings grained & hazed, like a script 

I cannot read. I will think of work. 

The acres he tended with monkish clarity,

whole summers before our home was ever

raised. The berms, the stumps, the birches. 

The rock-walled islands of crocus set to orbit

an unmade body.  I will remember plunging 

at dusk into water. The parked truck left 

to batter the empty beach with its fracas 

of AM faze, strange station-songs reeled

down to us from the edges of terrible space. 

How I knew then every word must writhe 

its own migration. That what is said does 

not need to be heard, only believed 

in with a certainty so sightless

it can only be historic. 


Connor Yeck’s poetry has appeared in Best New Poets, Crab Orchard Review, Southern Poetry Review, Columbia Journal, and JuxtaProse, and has recently been long listed for the Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize. An MFA candidate at Western Michigan University, he works at New Issues Press and is a Poetry Editor at Third Coast.