April 19, 2006

from the cheap seats see us wave

untitled, by silver juice?

American Flag
-- by Jack Anderson

This is an American flag.

Here it is. Let these words be spoken or read, and if you
know this language you recognize this flag. Look, here are
the thirteen alternating red and white stripes and the
union of white stars upon a blue field.

A match is approaching the American flag. The American flag
is being set on fire. The match touches, first one stripe,
then the rest. The American flag starts to burn.

The reason why the American flag has been set on fire is to
protest American policies regarding the Vietnamese war. But
should this be read at some later date when the situation
has altered, then the flag is to be burned to protest any
subsequent evil caused by these American policies in Vietnam,
or to protest any other evil, anywhere in the world, in which
America may be involved.

The American flag is burning. It blazes. The flames leap
higher. Hear them crackle. Feel the heat rise.

Listen, listen and look: whenever you read these words, or
whenever these words are read to you, then an American flag
has been set ablaze. You can ’t stop it. The word has been
given. Right here you will always find that an American flag
is burning. Watch it burn and think upon evil.
Think also upon justice, prudence, and mercy.
Now the flames subside. The flames die out. The flag is ashes.
An American flag has just been burned.

--by Mary Ferrari

for Kenneth Koch

at the end of every cigarette that burns there is of course
a soft little bright light which means
hope! eternity! so you are not
killing yourself when you
smoke you are preparing for
heaven where the loving lavender
cigarette angels have soft ash wings
or for hell where a flaming cigarette forest makes
a marvelous explosion in which at least you are involved!

--by Denise Levertov

The flowerlike
animal perfume
in the god’s curly
hair —

don’t assume
that like a flower
his attributes
are there to tempt

you or
direct the moth’s
hunger —
simply he is
the temple of himself,

hair and hide
a sacrifice of blood and flowers
on his altar

if any worshipper
kneel or not.

Reading Postures 7
-- by Marcella Ronk

Within the spine are warlike beings
interior, a certain space of cushioned
joints, leading upwards to places where
each vertebrae is a lit candle & wavers
in wind caused by a word
spoken in a desert full of air.
A tendon replaces a street, stretched,
it reaches the length of a median.
Placing a foot behind an ear
makes one hear the distant thud
of a small distortion in axle alignments,
a cough, a bone thrown out, tracing
drawings made on equators and
doldrums, deltoid scrims, your
wrists & upwards, small movements
of eye blinking down, the cushion of
gravity, jowls, o rosy fruited pines
placed at the rims of softness, these
warlike beings, and candles burning
through wax, your tracings and mistakings.
When holding a cup full of wicks,
light one throughout the body,
center a fire in the gravity fall of place.


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