November 1, 2006

You could say so, motherfucker


Josef Albers, Homage to the Square -- Temprano, 1957

Postmortem for Lowell, Massachusetts
-- by Melanie Almeder

Lowell’s gone ash can, gone soot, gone hybrid
of lilac and factory and lapsed Catholic.
Leaves, the disoriented speak of trees;
with a little wind, they talk the shuffle, the sweep.
At night strange resemblances among teeth and grave stones:
We’ve got heads full of relatives
while the wind trills the silver ash leaves.

In the story of the city,
in the old woman’s grin back
at the wind and blue sky, teeth are the spokesmen
of bone, would have, if they could have, told
the one about skeleton where skin
makes off with the crows, wind pilfers sockets,
and later, much later, the industry of souls.

You Came Last Season
-- by Gregory Corso

You came and made penny candies with your thumbs
I stole you and ate you
And my feet crushed your wrappers
in a thousand streets
You hurt my teeth
You put pimples on my face
You were never anything for health
You were never too vitamin
You dirtied hands
And since you were stickier than glue
You never washed away
You stained something awful.

A Quiet Poem
-- by Frank O'Hara

When music is far enough away
the eyelid does not often move

and objects are still as lavender
without breath or distant rejoinder.

The cloud is then so subtly dragged
away by the silver flying machine

that the thought of it alone echoes
unbelievably; the sound of the motor falls

like a coin toward the ocean's floor
and the eye does not flicker

as it does when in the loud sun a coin
rises and nicks the near air. Now,

slowly, the heart breathes to music
while the coins lie in wet yellow sand.

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