Nick Courtright
Waiting for the River
Happy Birthday
The Painter's Brother

Waiting for the River 


I want to write a poem about devastation 


about when the world you thought you had is not the world 


It will include the concerned faces of others 


It will include something about nuclear power but I’m not sure how 


It will include multiple lawyers and the invoices that come with them 


It will include a custody battle because that is the worst  


Maybe it will include a shooting  


We seem to like those 


In the end it’s all ephemera 


Consciousness is never harmed nor improved by what it knows 


The stock market and the universe are the same 


We have ever-increasingly sophisticated ways of talking about them though

            they are fundamentally impossible to understand 


The graveyard’s full of people we couldn’t do without 


The graveyard’s full of people without whom we couldn’t do 


Eventually I’ll leave not because I want to but because I have to 


So it goes 


Here’s my hand 


I’ve got king high and all the hope in the world 

Happy Birthday 



Like leaves the toddler waits to fall 

Like seasons the old woman waits to fall 

The sun is not a sphere it is a circle 

Just look at it 


It is already too late 

Aging is burying the family cat and eating macaroni and cheese with Dr.             Phil on 

This life 

You have a puncher’s chance 


A blue-boxered puncher pushed against the ropes 

Like a neck 

So here are the candles 

Roman numerals so 31 is just pornography plus one 


Make a wish 


When someone dies she or he is just waiting to fall like leaves or seasons 

And then has fallen 


The Painter’s Brother 




In Les Noces de Cana by Caliari  

note how Jesus, surrounded by humans  

and their activity, looks desperate to leave.  

Note also how no one is smiling.  

Note again Jesus, how desperate he is to leave.  

“Noces” means wedding so every time  

someone walks by and calls the painting  

“The Last Supper,” it is a reminder.  

A reminder of what? A reminder.  




When you Google “Caliari” 

the top result is for a Brazilian MMA fighter.  

She has four victories and one loss.  

Paulo Caliari the painter is also known as  

Paulo Veronese, and this is the largest canvas  

in the Louvre. It shares a room  

with the Mona Lisa, and you can stand  

in front of it writing in a tiny Italian notebook  

for as long as you like. Let us not forget  

that this wedding is where Jesus turned water  

into wine. This is why he’s the star of the show.  




Of the 130 human figures in the piece,  

the artist included himself and some friends,  

as per tradition. In this way it is like poetry.  

Giving depth to Jesus’ appearance  

is that servants offer the wine to the privileged.  

One regards the cup skeptically  

and no one seems to be having any fun.  

One of the aforementioned servants is black.  

Of course, a dwarf holds a parrot.  




The one who holds the wine  

skeptically is wearing the coolest outfit.  

This could be a criticism of wealth and unbelief,  

or praise for the stylish ahead of his time.  

It is said that he is the painter’s brother. 

This painting is more than I can handle.  

I could look at this thing all day.  

I’ve seen absurd behavior  

from so many nationalities. If one more person  

calls this The Last Supper I might lose it.  

Jesus is so desperate to leave.