December 10, 2008

No more absolutes, no more absolutes


Gary Hume, Poor Thing, 1994


The Long River
-- by Donald Hall

The musk-ox smells
in his long head
my boat coming. When
I feel him there,
intent, heavy,

the oars make wings
in the white night,
and deep woods are close
on either side
where trees darken.

I rode past towns
in their black sleep
to come here. I rowed
by northern grass
and cold mountains.

The musk-ox moves
when the boat stops,
in hard thickets. Now
the wood is dark
with old pleasures.


Allergy Girl II
-- by Sandra Beasley

Each food was a shape eyed by the antibody,
looking for an immunoglobulin hole to match.
A good fit would make for a bad reaction.

My bloodstream was a Fisher-Price workbench,
full of exact and waiting geometries.
I was a lot of good fits waiting to happen.

Peanuts tumbled by, harmless. But a cashew—
that fit into the open crescent, there, its immune
goblin hole. My antibodies had their plastic red

histamine hammers ready—smack smack
smack
—skin of my forearms, chin, chest
rippling out with each little blow—

They were just doing their job.


The Whorehouse at the Top of Mount Rainier
-- by Richard Brautigan

Baudelaire
climbed to the top
of Mount Rainier,
thinking all the time
that he was going
to a whorehouse
where there would be
Eskimo women.
When Baudelaire
reached the top
of Mount Rainier
and realized where
he was
and the mistake
that he had made,
Baudelaire shit
his pants.

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