Adam Tedesco

Three Poems – Adam Tedesco

Adam Tedesco has worked as a shipbuilder, a meditation instructor, and as cultural critic for the now disbanded Maoist Internationalist Movement. He conducts interviews and analyzes dreams for the online literary journal Drunk In A Midnight Choir. His recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in Funhouse, Souvenir, Cosmonauts Avenue, Hobart, The Nervous Breakdown, and elsewhere.

Not Knowing the Hudson

I don’t know what you were fishing for
or if you were
and I don’t know how it was you came to fall
or if you did

The last I knew you were shooting dope
and that was cool
We all were

Your sister told me
while, without asking
cooking my eightball
but it was cool

Then we smoked
until we dripped
with smoke
the night she told me

I did not know you
the way you know
one whose loss you grieve

I knew you
the way I know a boy named Saddiq
who wrestled your medicine free
beneath a window
where a man twenty years older lowers envelopes
in exchange for cash and companionship

The way I know the rats along the Hudson
encircling the boatyard at dusk
larger and hungrier than cats
barking threats through glowing eyes
and slick ropes of tail

The way I know an asthma attack
beneath the falls
current rushing me from the crags
while forgetting how to float

The way I know
the backless black surface of the river
on moonless nights
in rudderless search for air

I don’t know if you knew me
or if accidents happen
and I don’t know when I started writing this
or why

The last I knew
I’d been sitting at a spiritually messy desk
for twenty years
forgetting you had drowned

Originally Published at Words Dance Publishing


Little Bird

If I called you little bird
would you know I meant
a drop of plume
found along the path
to the bus stop
barely breathing
half hidden in
October’s rusting leaves

That I hid in my coat
nursed from bottle caps
huddled to warm
all the way to band practice

That I found lifeless atop
the cold basement stairs
after floating outside my body
for two hours and change

Would you know
that on the bus ride home
I met a man who told me
about string acid
and how to save birds

That string acid is made
from the guts of bread
twisted and soaked
in my drug of choice

That cars grow beards
and young men
can drink for free
in art galleries

That young men
can grow beards
and live forever
in peace on earth

That for years after
I wished I’d left
my family behind
to join his circus

And that he told me
girls fall in love
with boys like me
that try to save birds



You see these faces everyday

say one thousand or so

faces digging in fluorescence

gold mines spiraling

stacks of gridlines

these soft cheeked children

parade out the empty shafts

thinking they’re hard and over

you want to tell each of them

about the newness you’ve seen

about them every smiling hour

as they whittle themselves to

knots of worry and need

that even in what I want

to hate in myself

for reminding me of them

there is something worth love

something worth a word

no one can translate

to logical math or noise

that maybe the death in me

recognizes the death in you

and in this they cancel out

Originally Published in Bottle[c]rap Magazine