January 23, 2008

Come by my side before the evening is gone


Fixure, by Karl Lintvedt, 2007

That Poet
-- by Jack Hirschman

That poet you admire so–

in my fifteen years
in the workers movement
I've never seen him
in attendance at
a demonstration against
social injustice, or at
a memorial honoring
a revolutionary hero,
or at a rally in support
of an uprising people–

is not even a fighting
surrealist
but a bibelot
dribbling over
with obsolete pus.


Streetscene
-- by Jack Hirschman

for Eugene Smith

She was on her knees
in a Tenderloin doorway
eating chunks of darkness
out of a small tin can.

As I passed, a photograph
of a Haitian man crawling
on a Port-au-Prince sidewalk
30 years ago came to mind.

There was no difference.

I'd like to hold the nape
of capital down to a plate
of dogfood on a street
with the mange.

I'd like to see capital
with lacerated knees crawling
from one reality to another
for a change.


Motion
-- by Octavio Paz

translated by Eliot Weinberger

If you are the amber mare
I am the road of blood
If you are the first snow
I am he who lights the hearth of dawn
If you are the tower of night
I am the spike burning in your mind
If you are the morning tide
I am the first bird's cry
If you are the basket of oranges
I am the knife of the sun
If you are the stone altar
I am the sacrilegious hand
If you are the sleeping land
I am the green cane
If you are the wind's leap
I am the buried fire
If you are the water's mouth
I am the mouth of moss
If you are the forest of the clouds
I am the axe that parts it
If you are the profaned city
I am the rain of consecration
If you are the yellow mountain
I am the red arms of lichen
If you are the rising sun
I am the road of blood


The Dialectics of Spam
-- by Tom Hibbard

perhaps chain store economy
like any idea that favors immunity
every six miles: think about it
remember to get necessities
it’s yours to air-out
paying the penalty for identity theft
k-mart next to wal-mart
is construction turned into
an excuse for demeaning kindness
capitalist philosophy of consciousness
corroded by untainted localness
able to eradicate with
reassuring uniform apparel
drained moral energy
occupied 'village' resigned
to making a clean start
consuming enormous solitary ordinariness

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