Wednesday, June 3, 2009

new is the old old

alice notley said “more important than having
been born is your city, the scale upon which
your heart when you die will be weighed”
and then she said “i don’t know if that’s true
or not, i think about it a lot.” me too. the
scale can hardly be trusted. it rusts out. little
red bugs on bricks. bloodsuckers? and who
wants to be just a lily in a field? the field’s
boundaries cry a lot. your door is weeping,
jack tells me. i let him in, we drink wine
and beer. the building speaks for me a
little, i don’t know what it says. a window
means you could be somewhere else. i had
just been somewhere. the town was empty,
i bought ulysses for a nickel, first day of the
rest of our lives, hundred and five degrees
durham carolina. potholes being filled by
mister rumble. we cheer up the past, every
thing fit to print a complaint stacked to the
ceiling how hard it is to be a grapevine. our
neighbors do not grow. so to know what is,
i go quiet til hope’s a gull with sad wings.
let’s shoot the poor thing down. no violence
but ourselves. nobody elopes, nobody elopes.
steve half-jokes: miscegenation’s the wave
of the future. a past crests and falls in his
words. how much does it weigh? that heart
pays and pays. regret is debt. we’ve accrued
block captains. one sat on my stoop before
me, smoking cigarettes under green awning,
a vulture: everything you do, he said, must
come through me first. okay, we say, okay.