three poems and one illustration by bob schofield

Growing Up Nude in the Modern Era

The czarina takes off her pearls, her binoculars. I slip out of my beekeeping suit. I am sticky with Wednesday and it is the first moment of Russian history. We have all been born into the middle of the exact same wine tasting, where every baby is named after Dostoevsky, and suckles a complex icicle of human gratitude. I’m just so happy to be growing up nude in the modern era, shoveling snow and flinging boxes of dynamite up into the trees, at the delicate bird folk who stay inside and frame their report cards. The czarina told me how the sky is secretly an old man with two heads, looking down at me with the deepest kind of love and affection. He witnesses me as I witness him, like I’m some vital part of his own nonexistent third head. And when he comes down to boop my red clown nose, I can fucking feel it. His pity. His grace. His menagerie of high definition lenses. The dirt in his thumbnail as it swoops downwards, flashing like a set of china. I hear a vast forest of accordions. I know we’ll meet again, on opposite sides of the same murderous beak.
Bright As Can Be

I forge checks to buy new versions of a France I’ll never get to see. Up close they look like ice cream and toothpaste. It’s a river of the brightest filth. I play the xylophone because it’s what you want from me. My skills. My body. I become the sandpaper dream at the end of a long day, hopping from one parade float to another. Taking power naps in the mouth of an origami Jules Verne. Fighting a neon octopus and discovering the ideal species of tweed. Just look at my big reflective face and fucking believe in it. It’s not getting any farther away. This is the longest day of the year and I am directly above you. Like a gargoyle, I have plenty of free time to kill. I read books about how opera is supposed to make me cry. I build a shitload of toy periscopes. I pour vials of my nighttime prayers. Peer through a small hole I punched into the evening news. How is it already morning? I squint at my desk, turn the brightness up to never.
All the Seeing That I Do

We drink from tiny glasses and I have my hand on her neck. She knows how to read palms. I believe in the power of waves. Light is made of waves pretending to be particles, or sometimes the opposite, small stones that think they were born outside the living ocean. I look at the future like a Rubik’s cube, where every moving piece is a constellation of right angles. Together they project the same fat light. Most of the world’s parts come in the most basic version of black. It’s a fact that hurts my eyes. It’s all the seeing that I do. Sometimes there’s just nothing it can fix. I fold myself up like an owl. My head perches and spins. My life is that one parlor trick. It’s like it just lives for this shit. Greeting tourists, inviting them over for sex. Waking up in a cleaner version of the same wet t-shirt. I jump upwards and try to grow a mid-air beard. Come back down, says the writing on an infinitely descending red banner. Sit and stare at these breakable moons.
Bob Schofield is just some guy that writes things and draws pictures and makes comics. He likes what words and pictures do. He wants to be a ghostly presence in your life.