Friday, March 30, 2007

& thanks don’t speak

I rise—mist off the pavement
no, a cigarette reversing from a puddle
back into her lips—carrying on—
why do you cry? I don’t—no,
I haven’t—forgotten conversing—if
you call it that—I was speaking once
skipping honesty—running on—an
incomplete sentence—& thanks—how am I
supposed to write—what was barely dear,
wrenched underground—sense—dull
other’s stench—you brought them here?
better start thinking—of your own
excuses—I’m sick of finding them
for you—“sleep is the best medicine”
but I don’t dream—but I don’t pray
be thankful—I don’t remember dressed up
pretty words—can always finish later
cutting out, careful editing—why stop
a line?—say it spit spill over my face—
physical shape—syllables drowned—in
liquor giving different names—can’t get
the story straight—you told me to get an iron—
what does that mean? I produce, I distribute
—I shit & can hold up better than the rest
—I shave & kiss softer than the sleaze
—I shank in the dark & don’t speak

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Television and Art

Maybe I don't write
with the largest
or with a sense
of art
but this poetry I read
the abstract and a-linear
plays out like free jazz:
it might sound great
but what do you think when the record ends?

Does it make you think of politics?
Men in blue suits and red ties shaking hands and starting wars.

Does it make you think of sex?
Two bodies rhythmically connected.

Does it make you think of art?
A bohemian in a black beret and an apartment in lower manhattan.

I get sick of pretense
Does that make me a savage?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Multicultural Dreams and Snow

My bed’s been a canyon and I a God among its cliffs. Where avalanche and switchbacks stain everything a dull shade of Indian red, I descend to the determined creek below, evidence of a movement that permanently shaped the globe.

- - - -

I saw two young white girls clad in bright blue and green uniforms lollygagging in front of an all black Chicago public school. They were pressing their palms together, mimicking that elementary “London Bridge is falling down” game.

They were twins. Same height, same hair, same eyes, same bright white silk tights and they were right out in front where the black kids usually yell and fight.

I sat and thought, stewed and laughed, and still don’t have a clue as to why they felt the need to writhe and giggle in the middle of that Lincoln Park city block.

- - - -

Before drugs and epidemics, war and tonsillitis, icebergs left scars deeper than the sea is blue.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

A Death or Two

At the end of things, I suppose I was just relieved (maybe somewhat ecstatic) that it was finally over. You were the first girl I assigned the word “love” to, and I had watched as everything I “loved” about you disappeared, as if I were sitting on a front porch in the sleepy (read: comatose) southern Minnesota farm town where my father grew up, watching as every light on Main Street burnt out one by one without being replaced, watching as the bowling alley burnt for a second time (insurance fraud was suspected in both cases, but never proven) and Mr. Klingbile escaped with the money. At the end of things, I suppose I was desperate—more so even than old Klingbile—to get out and not look back.

On the Roman Empire

Think about a battlefield
eleven miles wide
think about the blood and horseshit
that soaks into the ground
and how fertile that plain will be the following year

The peasants will plant corn and barley
to share with one another

The following year
during harvest season
another battle will enrich more soil

I hope someone reminded the peasants
to wash their crops well.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Everything Makes Sense Right Before the Weekend

Everywhere and everything and everyone I’ve ever loved,
All race through my head, tripping on past memories.

Snow forts, ice tunnels, frozen lakes, and hockey skates.
There’s one from ice fishing and another spent camping under stars.
Or my first meteor shower at night with my father.

Him and I and Orion looked onward during a night that seemed like it would last forever.
And it did.

Because I still remember.

The days pass like onion rings,
Satisfying and tasty with a fast and furious exodus.
It's been hard to keep down any sort of feeling,
They just bleed and bleed and bleed and ble...

Happiness from my mouth, sadness strolling down my eyes.
Comfort is seen by a slouched back in chairs,
And agitation gets acted through the click and clack of type on keys.

Did you hear, my bathroom ceiling is aleaking
Flush goes upstairs, brace yourself for the downpour.
If going to the bathroom wasn’t uncomfortable enough,
Imagine getting dripped on by someone else’s urine.

It does make the bathroom more exciting.
Like the tension before D-Day, but don’t worry about the bodies
Because yours won’t be among them

Someone else will end up in your place.

So let’s talk happiness. Which is much more appropriate.
Happiness is snow on the ground or riding the crest of a breeze.
Smiling in its face and getting tickled by magnificent shapes.
Dare I speculate the seasons last fall?
If that is the case, then why, oh why am I writing this?

Secrets. Let’s talk mystery.
There are things that happen that cannot be told to friends.
Kisses beneath oak trees,
Murders performed cold blooded in streets,
Stealing from the family,
And holding on to suicide dreams.

If no one tells or thinks about them,
Who is to say if they ever even happened?

Let’s talk grieving.
Late nights and feelings.
Drunk dials at four o’clock in the morning.
Good thing no one’s around to receive them.
To miss someone is like breathing,
By the time it’s noticed through dreams and journal musings,
It can’t be stopped.

It just keeps on going.

Let’s talk shopping.
Packages slink in neat gift wrap,
A cashier who looks a lot like Steve Van Zandt,
Frantic masses huddling to see the new Gadzooks
Grand opening.
Where a table sits with free fresh coffee,
hot danish,
and a mountain of steam soaked bagels.

“Pass me that cruller and I’ll grant you my money!
Cause I worked hard for it and I,
I am buying your service!”

Let’s talk flipping.
Bowling alleys are a great place for their majesty
Buttons, noises, shoots, and plungers,
It sounds like something out of a sick sci-fi movie.
"Get those points! Hit that obstruction!
Flip before it goes down the C shoot,
that way you can get a gnarly fucking bonus!”

A Simpson’s quote is the only way to conclude this,
To show how I really feel
About bright lights blinking multi-balled madness…

“[television] destroyed more young minds than syphilis
and pinball