Larry Laurence

for J.W.


Three angels manifest themselves at a bar. They make it known
to the mind of the bartender, This day is our birthday.

No. Three baleen whales, a gray, a blue, & a humpback,
swim into a bar. They sing in high-pitched vocalizations & clicks,
This day is our birthday.

No. Three rocks, an igneous, a metamorphic, & a sedimentary,
roll into a bar. In Morse code they knock against themselves
to the bartender, Today is our birthday.

No. Three weeds, a sheep sorrel, a redstem filaree, & a Canada
goldenrod, seed themselves at a bar. Utilizing the slight air
currents available they rustle to the bartender, Today’s. . .

No. Three trees, a Jenny sycamore, a paw paw, & a blossoming pear. . .

An anaconda, a coachwhip, & a Texas blind snake. . .

OK, a swift, a chicken hawk, & a blue jay. . .

OK, OK. Three subnuclear particles appear & do not appear
simultaneously in various unknowable interstices of realities themselves
barely conceivable at the bar & outside the bar. They harmonize

in vibrations at once audible & inaudible to the bartender
in such a way to at last, at long last, prove senseless the dichotomy
of the observer & the observed, Today’s our birthday!

No matter, says the bartender. We, all of us,
gallop terribly against each other’s bodies.



“INCLUSIVE OF HELLO AND GOODBYE” originally appeared in POOL, A Journal of


Larry Laurence lives in Seattle and works as a rehabilitation counselor. Books are Life  of The Bones To Come, Black Heron Press, (a National Poetry Month selection by NACS, National Association Of College Stores) and Scenes Beginning With The Footbridge At The Lake, Brooding Heron Press. Poems appear in the anthologies How Much Earth: The Fresno Poets, Roundhouse Press, Jack Straw Writers, Jack Straw Productions. Awards include grants from Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture and Artist Trust plus a residency at Squaw Valley Community Of Writers. He studied poetry (and growing up) under Philip Levine.