October 1, 2004

Just a few well-placed words and their wandering hearts are gone

October 1
-- by David Lehman

If I'm invisible it's inevitable
but so is Johnny Hartman's voice
and John Coltrane's sax
which makes me think of sex
as something finer than the grapefruit
Jimmy Cagney of Stuyvesant High School
pushed into the face of his movie wife
one reason for dining at Le Gigot is
no one will push a grapefruit in your face
another is the waiter's excellent taste
in music & I'm wearing
sunglasses to hide bloodshot eyes
I woke up alone, with cuts on my forehead
who knows what battles I fought
in my sleep did I win well I survived

Poem
-- by Frank O'Hara

Instant coffee with slightly sour cream
in it, and a phone call to the beyond
which doesn't seem to be coming any nearer.
"Ah, daddy, I wanna stay drunk many days"
on the poetry of a new friend
my life held precariously in the seeing
hands of others, their and my impossibilities.
In this love, now that the first love
has finally died, where there were no impossibilities?

Sea Swallow Me
-- by Jeff Clark

This morning in an alleyway you were startled by a face
in a dormer above a white, vine-groped garage
I shall not appear
when my form has been erased
concealed like that in your inward scenery.
I'll return rather as would the ghost of an oceanic scent
in prairie air. I'll touch you briefly --
I swear to neither hurt nor lure you.
Let me touch you briefly, then destry me, for I assure you...

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