Monday, May 26, 2008

a pair of poems

odd years

a priest blessed our house and said he can tell
if you have god or not, he can see it in your
eyes, some final word grown deep into soil
that translates the stampede of rain into a distant blah

blah. roofer tells me the siding was a real hack
job. another says whoever did the siding should be
shot. how long will i live here. my neighbor
clara calls me an angel and flaps her wings. born

again, bobby says, her husband used to be mob.
he sits on their bed now watching her blow dry plastic
against the window, a hundred some odd years
blackened in the street below. wet tires roll over

them. where are we going. i like to imagine
myself in new york or san francisco in the fifties, clothes
lines crossed between apartment buildings, writing
into my wooden desk at the window, stepping out

onto the fire escape for a smoke and waving to my
neighbor, who doesn’t mind leaves falling on his roof.
real city life in a real city, beautiful promise against
motion. yesterday real city workers cut down the large

sycamore that stood guard of our block, old tree that
we loved, my wife & i at least. why are you doing this,
i asked one of them. they found somethin under there,
he said, blah blah, he said, blah blah blah, i said.


for the birds

yeah i know god is in the blah blah
but what’s that get anybody really
no benches at this bus stop
just me and a guy who looks like
gabriel garcia marquez
we wait and wait
he goes picking through the garbage
along the curb and comes up with
a large rubber flashlight
goes across the street to sit down
and mess with it but he can’t get it
open, lifts an eyeball, catches me
looking so i look down the street for
the bus it isn’t coming, it’s just me
and the guy and his flashlight and the birds
that’ve come down to feast on some chips
marquez has salvaged from a trashcan
and crunched up in a pile on the street
for them