Wednesday, January 19, 2011

what are you swinging at

on my way to fergie’s i actually pass
fergie, the owner, tying a balloon to
a lamppost on 10th street: it’s a boy
it says, bobbing in the wind and then
oh shit—a student—brian, i think—
hey mister x, he says and i wave and
think good kid like i’m old and can
say, and the walk goes on as weeds
in the fall it is, cracks caught in a
mirror’s parked car, illegally it feels.
it all goes, it all goes. i know no one
who works for the parking authority
and that makes me less of a person
which is fine—i appear closer than i
actually am and wake up the yellow
in a bookstore only two-fifty
for a friend to be named, a no-hitter
off dolph’s kitchen radio still wringing
thru me. a text from dan: wiffleball?
the weather’s dumpstered a curve in
the dirt, meaning my mind’s gone
behind acme, aims for the police station, where
we’d play. what if we grew up in a state
of walls which were all the streets of
this city, mapped in our brains, and
now we know how to get anywhere
there’s to go, so we get bored, bored,
bored, sad, sad, sad and write down
something like grid like a crib to contain
the unpredictable
and watch the back
of a trash truck eat two big sofas. one
solid meal after another is how we
live this country, we being whatever
it is. i order a burger at fergie’s and
there’s fergie—the man is everywhere
and hoa nguyen’s at the microphone
telling us about chinaberry trees in
austin texas, how they grew on her.
she grows on us. poetry on poets,
drinking this drink. then some of us
fight about how to live in a fucked
world and i lean back against the wall—
i don’t know how to live, i whisper
to hoa who laughs in half the question
and i’m here for a minute.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

ice cream by jim jarmusch

Look at what a poem this scene from Down by Law is--as a work of fiction but also as a kind of event that happens in real life among real people. A half-hearted tinkering--the card game, Waits' and Lurie's taunts and Benigni's persistent attempts to communicate--this tinkering against hopelessness and misunderstanding erupts, improbably, into song, which is momentary understanding and freedom. The song spreads, a ripple effect through the prison. A mini-riot. You know it's a good poem if some guard tells you to quiet down, even if the guard is just a voice in your head.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


in passing, passyunk, once a footpath, coughs a card: brick of
squabs. soul that squabbles, flaps, flop. the run-over pigeons
make me the streets. i live it the fuck up. tuesday: who it is,
from birth, ignitions. coffee, coffee, christ, the future—women
and their worry, and my worry. in what town does what is
got a shot against should? i wanna go there—baby take me
please. if bliss, then bills—turn the faucet either way nickels
for everybody, though any love’s a skiff in her loss i latched
onto, long ago. i make myself useful, not because i like to.
i like to fuck until total exhaustion. til eyes've left. owls of
dirt, the stared at dusk. an opening for breakfast: a you, a
wind, a waiting to blow those robins out of the tree.