Robert Evory


Robert Evory is a poet and musician from Detroit, Michigan. With an MFA from Syracuse University he currently teaches creative writing as a Doctoral Assistant at Western Michigan University where he is the poetry editor for Third Coast. He is also the managing editor and co-founder of The Poet’s Billow. In July of 2015 he was the artist in residence at Gettysburg National Military Park. His poetry is featured or is forthcoming in: Spillway, Spoon River Review, Natural Bridge, The Fat City Review, Nashville Review, Wisconsin Review, Ghost Town, The Madison Review, Arroyo, Water~Stone Review, and elsewhere.


Cartel Sadness

The cartel needs my sadness so it walks into the crossfire
They say they just want to talk
My sadness is unreported income
My sadness is in a fistfight with itself
The cartel flies a dust cropper in to pick up the winner
The cartel wants my sadness to cook
The cartel is poisoning itself from the inside
The cartel is struggling for position
The cartel has a hospital in the desert where its rival can’t find them
The cartel split my sadness among the henchmen
The rival planted a bomb and my sadness smelled it out
Sadness wears a bulletproof vest
Sadness will never have a chalk outline
Sadness sent rival a message
A rocking chair and a string of chicken wire
Sadness can’t be dusted for prints
The cartel needs a triggerman
Sadness pasted a letter from words in a magazine
Sent it to the Gestapo called grief
Yakuza called fear
Sadness put a husband and wife back to back to save a bullet
Sadness is in the green revolution, purple revolution
Velvet, orange, and blue revolutions
Sadness is bankrupting the world
Sadness is wanted for espionage
And extradition to Singapore
Sadness holds the man named trust for ransom
Sadness says “I love you” on the battlefield
Sadness is dug out from under your home
Sadness and freedom tremble together
Sadness calls the Moon by her real name
Opens her door naked to the world
Sadness is the dough that didn’t rise
The wine turned to vinegar
Sadness is a motorcycle stunt driver for expectations
Sadness is freeing chicks from their nest
Pulls up the vein of an addict
Sadness shoots up between the toes
Sadness is in a diner at dawn with a broken wrist eating meatloaf
Sadness is sucking the tit of depression
Kissing indifference on the mouth
Tonguing between the thighs of hope
Sadness is night living in the mind that doesn’t rise
Sadness is a bead of truth we all have to stroke

The first line of ‘Cartel Sadness’ is inspired from a scene in Breaking Bad. When a sniper is sent to Gustavo Fring’s warehouse to send a message, Gustavo walks into the sniper’s crosshairs. Even though others have been shot, he knows he won’t be because the cartel still needs him. I replaced Gustavo with the emotion sadness riffing off of language associated with cartels and drug wars.