A Primer

My complaint about life is it happens
only in order: a thesis of sorts,

a kind of argument
that might seem out of place here.

But I have seen a man ride his bicycle
into beltline traffic & die.

I have seen my grandmother coughing blood
after a lifetime of menthols.

I have seen the closed casket of a friend
who asked the wrong person

for a ride home after a long shift.
The end of a story

is the shape of a hole in the fence
the story runs through

on its way to the end.
Spielberg filmed E.T.

in chronological order
so his young cast could deliver

an authentic emotional performance;
it helped them bond with the alien

in the natural course of the narrative,
leading to the weepy climax

he wanted. This anecdote suggests
something about art, youth, loss;

something about believability. Or
the cruelty of a man who knows what he wants.



Amorak Huey is author of Ha Ha Ha Thump (Sundress, 2015) and two forthcoming books: Seducing the Asparagus Queen (Cloudbank, 2018) and Boom Box(Sundress, 2019), as well as two chapbooks. A 2017 NEA fellow, he is co-author with W. Todd Kaneko of Poetry: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology (Bloomsbury, 2018) and teaches at Grand Valley State University.