August 22, 2007

I eat an oyster and I feel the contact
But more than one would be a waste

Nick Stillman, Yellow jacket emerging from door of Richard Prince's 1973 Chrysler Barracuda at Second House (2007)

Brothers on Sunday Night
-- Frank Stanford

We'd been dreaming
Or at least I had
About peanuts that grow in the river
And oozed sap
When you bit them

A woman bootlegger shook her dustmop
That was the moon

In the fields
Something barren like a journey
And echoes of salt
Sprinkled deep on the table

Where they said the young mother
Walked into the water

With her dress full of rocks
I laid down
And ate a peck of bruised peaches

A fisherman went to sleep on his mule
Riding to the store
For a roll of wax paper
Then we heard
Shouting that tore out the light.

-- Mike White

half a room

no one around
to lift the thing

all those parts

after a while
you give up

even dusting

Stars and Strips
-- Catherine wiley

I've called the cops on him,
friendly guy next door who sneaks
pork fat to my cat, cookies
to my daughter. He tends
with the vigilance of love
a red van hunkered on the curb,
paint flaked and pale U.S. flag
sealing the rear window. He sings,
then weeps when he's had one
too many beers.

The night he swears to kill
his wife--sobs and curses
through the screen jangle me
from sleep--police come fast,
five white cars block the street,
two men vault the broken gate
to pound the door and wake
with a flashlight in his eyes
the old man whose house it is,
whose son.

Morning, I ask how she is
through the fence where she rests
an elbow; thumb caressing
her bluing cheek. She says
with disbelief that someone
called the cops, she thinks she might
know who, she'll kick their ass.
Later in full sun and heat
a different neighbor stops.
"I wish they'd get it over with,"
she sighs, "and shoot each other so
the rest of us could sleep."


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