April 21, 2006

so many beautiful days in a row

daniel richter, flagge

digital recording (after eliot)
-- by Joanne Burns

one thinks of all the hands
that whip money out of ATMs
quick as condoms, headache pills;
that jiggle herbal tea bags in thick
mugs like puppeteers; that fill
out lotto forms on a stream of
thin white shelves; that are
dropping shaggy track pants on
the floor beside a bed, that
press touchfones more than flesh;
that vote in cardboard booths
with short lead pencils, tied
to string like small harpoons:
that tremble at the mirror too
close to the patinas of their skin;
one thinks of all the hands, burning
teaspoons in a thousand motel rooms

Higher Maths
-- by Cassie Lewis

The News muted by blank snow.
Drivers’ coffee dawn. Promised
cures. Music conjugates the verb
to witness, holding forth. Parish
of all light: shelter those on foot.
Broken town: two trucks collide,
and at one juncture a frozen face
looks more formal than the trees.

-- by Cassie Lewis

I jolt awake. Remember beer for breakfast
in seedy bars. Furnishings close in, suddenly, their sweat.
What is this wanderlust

Stay here wrestling smallest things,
this broken morning.
It is unremitting —
must I force this door?

Haven. You sit still in your chair,
like an absolution. Each of your knuckles burns
white hot on the armrest. You are a saint,

I just pose as someone awake.
How do I tear this parcel open? Are you
the glow inside?

I wiped the smoke off the walls
but I can’t stop the forest.
It blows through the door’s wooden slats as
we confer. Late night TV

glares, and murmurs
'I’ll love you through this.'

-- by Frank Stanford

The old woman washed my socks
Light went through my hair
Like a school of minnows

Death had a socket wrench
That'd fit any nut
He knows a little tune
You can't carry

Death say he give you credit
You better not sign

A journey is just like a journey
The so-called mystery of death
Will run you about an even seven bucks
Go ahead and see
This includes a washtub of beer
Advice on love
Snake oil on your tally-whacker

Wind blows over our plots
Whistling up the butt of our deaths
I could be anywhere
Wind on the island at night
Not the schoolbell full of mud


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