April 30, 2004

A supper of salt and a waltz to your empty bed

Friday poems

Ornette Coleman And Thelonious Monk At Dinner
-- by Elizabeth Alexander

When people smoked, and it hung over the table like magic
or like wisps of the talk and the music between them,

chicken bone, the best Chateaux, Coca-Cola in glass, Monk's eyes
cut left, Ornette laughing at something off camera,

safari suit and Savile Row bespoke haberdashery
circa '72 and the black globe is damn near free.

Deep sounds in the cusp and shift, in the sour and the off-notes
you bang and you blow, in the butter, in the biscuits, the bird carcass,

jelly, just what you wanted and all you can eat.

Declaration of Independence
-- by Michael Brownstein

When, in the midst of the thriving alien
Corn of congratulation for clever auspices
To spray out cruel politics like little birds
Set in rows, knocking them and breaking
The backs, just to suck out blood
Of complacency adn dumb wistful resignation
Whose dumpy quality is force-fed inward
Against the natural flow of their actual
Energies all their lives, doubly dizzy
From wheezing through nostrils of boredom
On a vacation isle they fought for frantically
Only to ruin and poison artificially
With plastic clicking hands holding mule-like
Pills of false and clotted rest, then I
Get up much earlier than the rest, and smoke
Under creaking trees shocked by ice,
Lace of sunlight, glittering fir and snow,
Hours of eating from this planet's tasty
Dwindling peace of mind.


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