November 9, 2005

what would my wife say if I was married


serge poliakoff, composition abstraite rouge et verte

Three Poems:

Continuous Topless Strippers
-- by Robert Sward

for Jim Belisle

An eight-speaker sound system,
two continuous topless strippers,
Elvis Presley singing "Early Morning Rain."

Everyone loves television.
And because the management doesn't want
to offend anyone's tastes by omitting

So important an element
in the desired sensory mix --
"The lowest common denominator

"Creates an art form," my friend
mutters into his beer --
the five foot by seven foot color TV

Is seen on stage backing up the strippers,
the TV little more than a concentration
of bright flashing lights which,

On closer examination, turn out
to be the Six o'clock Evening News.
"Some damned half-deranged diplomat,

"Portfolio this, portfolio that,
is dithering about something or other somewhere
or other for no reason that neither you nor I

"Nor anyone else has any idea." My friend
orders another, and I order another.
The announcer, meanwhile, is selling hangover

Or headache pills and the difficulty we all have
on occasion of falling asleep or eliminating
properly or what happens when we drink too much
coffee

And that and everything else at last dissolves
the dancers achieving what appears, in fact, to be
a new breakthrough

In negotiations, winning
in the ovation that follows
their performance

Not only our freedom
but the release and freedom
of all hostages.

Portrait Number Five: Against A New York Summer
-- by Jack Gilbert

I'd walk her home after work
buying roses and talking of Bechsteins.
She was full of soul.
Her small room was gorged with heat
and there were no windows.
She'd take off everything
but her pants
and take the pins from her hair
throwing them on the floor
with a great noise.
Like Crete.
We wouldn't make love.
She'd get on the bed
with those nipples
and we'd lie
sweating
and talking of my best friend.
They were in love.
When I got quiet
she'd put on usually Debussy
and
leaning down to the small ribs
bite me.
Hard.

Covering Two Years
-- by Weldon Kees

This nothingness that feeds upon itself:
Pencils that turn to water in the hand,
Parts of a sentence, hanging in the air,
Thoughts breaking in the mind like glass,
Blank sheets of paper that reflect the world
Whitened the world that I was silenced by.

There were two years of that. Slowly,
Whatever splits, dissevers, cuts, cracks, ravels, or divides
To bring me to that diet of corrosion, burned
And flickered to its terminal.--Now in an older hand
I write my name. Now with a voice grown unfamiliar,
I speak to silences of altered rooms,
Shaken by knowledge of recurrence and return.


also: I realized last night that Monday was the 4th anniversary of the dust congress. thanks to all for reading.

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