The Gold That Falls onto the Table

by Steve Cleveland

Price: $14.00


Table of Contents

Part 1     This Road
Part 2     Between Worlds
Part 3     Memory
Part 4     In Shadow
Part 5     Because You're Hungry
Part 6     Stories
Part 7     The Gold That Falls onto the Table
Part 8     Letting the Dark Lake Keep Its Mystery
Part 9     Stories

© 2014, Steve Cleveland

Read poems from this collection.

About the Book

“Turns out that piano man Steve ‘Thousand Dollar’ Cleveland brings the same soul touch to words as he does to the keys. Take a walk with him through this good book. Chances are his poems will show you something you hadn’t noticed before: the tinkle of glassware in a diner, a songbird over your shoulder, and an ogre and a couple of vampires along the way. Here’s a poet at home in himself and the cosmos. No axe to grind: ‘the world’s not necessarily / out to get you,’ he offers, ‘the world / IS you.’ Believe it.”

—Doug Marx

From the Collection


The road is slick
and thick with frost.

I eat my toast
and apricots

by the window,
watch the birds

bicker and poke their beaks
into the grass.

The last bus
from Laramie

left at four.
In an hour

I’ll still be here,
sitting in the sun.


Rustic Christ
   eating crusty bread.

Sitting under the stars
   with his disciples.

This bread is succulent,
   Peter says.

Succulent means juicy,
   says Christ.

Oh, says Peter. Well,
   it’s damn good,

however you wanna say it.
   It’s because you’re hungry,

Christ says. Is this a
   parable? James

chimes in. Maybe, Christ
   says. I think

there’s a parable
   in there somewhere.


It’s okay to take the gold
that falls onto the table.

Don’t try to calculate
your unworthiness,

or you’ll miss
this sunlight pouring through the window.


outside a house, we 2 siblings
with bullets in our pockets

sit on astump while a cop
circles back to harass us.

we go out to the woods.
I look off to the side

at the green of trees
and green on the far-off hills

and a row of apartment buildings
and something crashes

through the brush behind me.
I turn. a creature

made of green branches
is running hard.

“I’ve never seen anything
like that before,” I say,

and as I watch,
some of the branches fall off

in streams of green fire.
I see now

that the creature
is a coyote.

and now
he’s chasing us.

but it feels good
to be with my sister.


You leave your bed and open the window. Stars. Crickets.
A flock of geese in the sky. You close the window and
listen. Your parents are asleep. You put on a coat and go
out. There’s a cold breeze. You go to the shed. You know a
deer is inside. Your father has killed it and skinned it and
hung it in the shed. You want to see it. You can smell it
through the wood. But you don’t go in. You stand outside
the shed. You don’t go in.

All poems: copyright Steve Cleveland, 2014