February 16, 2007

I can't get that sound you make out of my head

Alison Jackson, Bush on the loo, 2004, chromogenic print

Snow Emergency Street
-- by Gerard Malanga

All I know is this slow exhibition of greatness.
A description of what's been
Happening. The pain is not
Clearly defined. These are
The eyes of the young girl and that side of her
Character capable of being
Afraid. Across street young man walks
Back with hands in pockets.
Children's voices at playground
In distance. The sound
Track of tire treads making sharp turns
In the distance.
Water sprinkler being turned off.
A roadway ribbed with white line where no one is
Crossing. In its beginning was its end.
A woman, a city, an intellect.
The environment of that experience.
Afer the affirmations
Who will discover the rejections?

Still Another Signal
-- by Gerard Malanga

Someone has written
on the wall of the
flat I've just moved into
nothing changes

Older Women
-- by Jack Gilbert

Each farmer on the island conceals
his hive far up on the mountain,
knowing it will otherwise be plundered.
When they die, or can no longer make
the hand climb, the lost combs your
after year grow heavier with honey.
And the sweetness has more and more
acutely the taste of that wilderness.

-- by Jack Gilbert

When I hear men boast about how passionate
they are, I think of the two cleaning ladies
at a second-story window watching a man
coming back from a party where there was
lots of free beer. He runs in and out
of the building looking for a toilet. "My Lord,"
the tall woman says, "that fellow down there
surely does love architecture."

First Times
-- by Jack Gilbert

I had not seen her for twenty years when she called
to welcome me back to America, wanting to see me.
Warning that she was past forty now and the mother
of a seven year-old. The lost time flooded me.
Paris and me without money or a place to take her.
I borrowed a room and lit candles and had wine.
It went badly. My knees kept sliding away under me
on the starched sheets. I managed the humiliation
by turning my back and refusing to talk. She was
as young as I was and felt, I suspect, relief.


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