February 21, 2007

Vicarious pleasure in my brain
Fantastic life never the same

Jacques Villegle, Carrefour Sylvia Montfort - Picasso, 1973
décollage mounted on canvas

-- by Robert Lowell

History has to live with what was here,
clutching and close to fumbling all we had--
it is so dull and gruesome how we die,
unlike writing, life never finishes.
Abel was finished; death is not remote,
a flash-in-the-pan electrifies the skeptic,
his cows crowding like skulls against high-voltage wire,
his baby crying all night like a new machine.
As in our Bibles, white-faced, predatory,
the beautiful, mist-drunken hunter's moon ascends--
a child could give it a face: two holes, two holes,
my eyes, my mouth, between them a skull's no-nose--
O there's a terrifying innocence in my face
drenched with the silver salvage of the mornfrost.

Every Time He Starts the Car
-- by Ben Kopel

for Robbie Howton

The click and ah
of the air conditioner
gives him hope
for a better tomorrow
in America-

the possibility
of a Dixie cup
filled with water
from a Japanese glacier.

-- by Ben Kopel

My heart is in the yard like snow.
I do not want this world to end.
In the ashtray
A bit of filter nothings.

The day we put her in the earth
The marching band stepped
And refused to yield.

I can’t even think
About the things I did that day,
Alone with a girl, awkward
Like a Jew in a tattoo shop.

In Plain View
-- Frank Stanford

A white rose fell out of my lapel
outside the church house
like a hand with too much sun
A horse trampled it
The barefoot rider who was
just passing through
leaned over backwards
and picked it up with his toes
He said Sorry
and I said Much obliged
And I took it from his dark foot
and gave it to his fine horse


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