January 10, 2007

There's a box I still can't open


Christopher French, Contradictory Resemblances, 2002

I Wonder How Many People In This City
-- by Leonard Cohen

I wonder how many people in this city
line in furnished rooms.
Late at night when I looke out at the buildings
I swear I see a face in every window
looking back at me,
and when I turn away
I wonder how many go back to their desks
and write this down.

Consciousness
-- by Campbell McGrath

An obsessive compulsion, a ring of keys,
a sequence of numerals to roll the tumblers
and open the golden vault, a web, a blizzard,
a stochastic equation to generate song.
It goes on. There is no satiety mechanism
in the market system, in the agora of thought.
We cannot bloom, cannot flower,
cannot crystallize into coal or diamond
or disassemble ourselves into pure melody.
Alone in the ruined observatory we stand
surrounded by astral bodies, glittering
milk-folds of star creation we stutter to name
but still we cannot burn our fingerprints
into the void. Into. The. Saints of it, myths of it,
cloister, waterwheel, winged lion, myrrh.
Knots of olive wood in a beached rowboat
over which to roast the tiny silver fish
delicious with salt and lemon. Marooned, then,
but well fed on the substance of this world.
And still forsaken. And still hungry.

Franz Wright Was Kilroy Was Here
-- by Klipschutz

Then there’s the possibility,
remote, distinct, forensic,
that Life
as we know it
is nothing more or less than an extended reel of bloopers.

I wake up, sexually aroused,
half blind
in one eye,
thinking thus and suchly,
smoking an imaginary cigar,
propped up
in a fat red Crate & Barrel chair
sans ottoman,
for all the world a cardboard cutout of my
self. . .

The kitchen is closed.

My soul—that’s right, my soul—takes the stage
and launches in to its eternity routine,
killing, dying, killing, dying, killing,
shamelessly extracting one last laugh.

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