August 10, 2007

I'll put twenty-five knicker, please, on Gallop printer

William Eggleston, Louisiana, 1978

The Crowded Countries of the Bomb
-- George Oppen (1962)

What man could do,
And could not
And chance which has spared us
Choice, which has shielded us

As if a god. What is the name of that place
We have entered:
Despair? Ourselves?

That we can destroy ourselves

Walking in the shelter,
the young and the old,
Of each othes's backs and shoulders

Entering the country that is
Impenetrably ours.

Born Under Punches
-- Major Jackson

The deejay fingered a 12"
From a batch of milkcrates &
We were back inside the school
Gymnasium, catwalking between
Slowdrags & hipgrinds.
Skullcaps pulled below
Brows, Timberlands
Laced high, our fists swelled
Inside goose-down, metallic
Parkas. Spacemen
On the dancefloor!
Heavy-eyed, feral-faced,
We roamed till some
Boy's neck flashed
Links of gold.
When Big Jake threw
A suckerpunch, the boy
Fell like a swimmer
Giving up breathing. Lovers
Left each other's arms,
Backing away.
Someone's sister moaned
In the bleachers &
A heavy groove
Unlocked a flurry of fists.
In that darkness,
Speakers rose like
Moonlight diamonded
Mesh-wired glass.
What was it that bloomed
Around his curled
Body when the lights
Came up, fluorescent,
Vacant, garish?
The gym throbbed
With beats & rage
And his eyes darted
Like a man nailed
To a burning crucifix.

The Irish Space Program
-- David Berman

The day was hot and it was not cold.
He sat by a stream east of the trees,
the very picture of invisible labor
in the old price ranges of folklore,
like a hermit in a romantic ballad.
I guessed him dreaming of unnoticed things
or unnoticed aspects of noticed things
in that meadow whose fundamental beauty
was commensurate with its uselessness
as was, so often was, the case.
It was the wonderful overgrown field,
ever-redolent of an abandoned stage
where I had written "Death Rents A Flower"
and "Reactions From A Snowbound Academy"
the year before. Finding it occupied
I continued down the shabby road
past the barn that seemed to hide things
not worth finding. There was a waterlogged
tavern door lying flat on its back
in the grass. With a stick I engraved
curse words on the surface of a forest pool.
Oh why should I lie to you! I was desperately
unhappy. I could hardly believe how
uncomfortable my clothes had become.
Was I to return to the wobbling candlelight
of the inn to gamble for nightingales
with west-country earls? These forests
were just voids with bears inside.
I could not have felt more harrassed
if it had been raining carrots.
I turned on my heels and headed back,
determined to eject that hermit from
my thinking spot. Hatred came flipping
down my forearms. Any refusal would be met
with super-refusal. It was not for nothing
that I called my hands the Wild Fives.
But upon returning, I found my pastoral arena
depopulated once again. I took a seat and
turned an ear to the birds inside the sky.
So only ten bad minutes had been appended
to my life. Leaves fell in soft corkscrews.
A lone rabbit hopped by.
The day was hot and it was not cold.

-- Mark Halliday

The very fact that her skirt swirls
bespeaks something that compels my interest
as if not because the skirt covers her ass and thighs
as if I mean not only because given a chance I’d want
very very much probably to help her take the skirt off
in a fantasy bedroom, but for some more lovely reason
more lovely I mean because more mysterious
when she swirls my head turns on my not-merely-biological neck
to follow the play of shadow in those folds of cloth–

in the swirling there is some meaning that draws me
without specific reference I’m saying to her vagina
somewhere beneath the skirt and what my penis might get to do;

it’s about a flowing quality in life I’m serious
about something flowing like light among branches
on a windy day, the truth or a truth of how
the beauty of our life is like a winding river
under rapid shifting clouds and how the river is change
and change is possibility and our infinity of possibility is
what makes us not just banal dogs wagged by our tails.
There across the crowded room she turns and turns,
her hair swings, her skirt swirls, she doesn’t know
I’m standing here with these deep insights into everything
but if I write it all down with a lovely
swirling of its own she might read it and see
that if I stare at her it is not just the usual but
because I am interesting here alone at the edge of the dance.


Anonymous sherwood anderson said...

on eggleston, read faulkner. time.

yours, sherwood anderson

10:25 AM  

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