Ted Jean

the irrigation is in disrepair

squatting at the edge
of the muddy excavation
he has dug to discover
the leak, he hatchets the line free
of arm thickness redwood roots
and scrubs the ancient
rust-disfigured iron pipe
with his bleeding hands
to expose the pinhole
spray at the impossible
junction of the main tee
and a half inch nipple
immediately coupled
to a more contemporary
copper hose bib
on a short riser, improbably
buried for who knows
how many years, clearly
the first collapse of
a corrupt galaxy
of galvanized plumbing
that guarantees the eventual engulfment
of the entire fucking property

he leans back, sees
the sky in stitches
through the lattice redwood
and laughs till he is helpless
on his back
in the leak bedazzled grass


A carpenter, Ted Jean writes, paints, plays tennis with Amy Lee. Nominated twice for Best of the Net and twice for the Pushcart Prize, his work appears in Beloit Poetry Journal, PANK, Spillway, DIAGRAM, Juked, American Journal of Poetry, dozens of other publications. His first chapbook, Desultory Sonnets, won the 2016 Turtle Island Poetry Award.