April 4, 2007

Promise me
You will always be
Too awake to be famous
Too wired to be safe

Matt Seasow, Stay

The People of the Other Village
-- by Thomas Lux

hate the people of this village
and would nail our hats
to our heads for refusing in their presence to remove them
or staple our hands to our foreheads
for refusing to salute them
if we did not hurt them first: mail them packages of rats,
mix their flour at night with broken glass.
We do this, they do that.
They peel the larynx from one of our brothers’ throats.
We devein one of their sisters.
The quicksand pits they built were good.
Our amputation teams were better.
We trained some birds to steal their wheat.
They sent to us exploding ambassadors of peace.
They do this, we do that.
We canceled our sheep imports.
They no longer bought our blankets.
We mocked their greatest poet
and when that had no effect
we parodied the way they dance
which did cause pain, so they, in turn, said our God
was leprous, hairless.
We do this, they do that.
Ten thousand (10,000) years, ten thousand
(10,000) brutal, beautiful years.

Watching Television
-- by Robert Bly

Sounds are heard too high for ears,
From the body cells there is an answering bay;
Soon the inner streets fill with a chorus of barks.

We see the landing craft coming in,
The black car sliding to a stop,
The Puritan killer loosening his guns.

Wild dogs tear off noses and eyes
And run off with them down the street—
The body tears off its own arms and throws them into the air.

The detective draws fifty-five million people into his revolver,
Who sleep restlessly as in an air raid in London;
Their backs become curved in the sloping dark.

The filaments of the soul slowly separate;
The spirit breaks, a puff of dust floats up;
Like a house in Nebraska that suddenly explodes.

At the Rate of Two Pompoms a Day
-- by Tina Celona

At the rate of two pompoms a day
You recorded your impressions of death.
I was easier with myself and when I drank wine I was easier still.
The silence on Sunday was deafening, as was the seepage
In the closet under the stairs.
Traveling burned off my cleverness.
The contents of my brain were insipid and tasteless.
I washed off the broom with detergent, then set it back in the closet.
It was hard to write about asparagus in pea season;
Death glared like an inconstant toad.
My friend stepped off the plane and into my life.
Her distraction was beautiful.
"Why don't you wear that hat with the shades?"
To this she responded with a long, shallow moan.
"You wear your nonsense like a pompom."


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