January 23, 2009

instead of a cocktail
I drank the cool green of her eyes

Romare Bearden, Return of the Prodigal Son, 1967

No Surrender
-- by Dobby Gibson

Now that my poetry is finished
and I’m once again grateful
for what passes as real
in this version of my life, my favorite one,
the one in which, in late evening,
the lake appears
to hold another, more beautiful sky,
never again will any time
so quietly pass.
These perceptions soon lost,
if only because everyone’s first wish
has always been to see
himself through another’s eyes.
By merely looking we make casts
of these shadows, the ones that forever
point back to ourselves
by mimicking the very holes
we punch in the moonlight,
mugging for the camera,
chatting about this and that
even as the bird flies
into the glass door and dies.
There is a precision to absurdity
that illuminates the immeasurability of the truth,
and we’ll never know one another
more intimately than when we share
precisely these kinds of misunderstandings.
Place your hand on my shoulder.
Empty your pockets into mine.
Now you’ve caught your thief.

The Film
-- by Kate Northrop

Come, let’s go in.
The ticket-taker
has shyly grinned
and it’s almost time,
Lovely One.
Let’s go in.

The wind tonight’s too wild.
The sky too deep,
too thin. Already it’s time.
The lights have dimmed.
Come, Loveliest.
Let’s go in

and know these bodies
we do not have to own, passing
quietly as dreams, as snow.
Already leaves are falling
and music begins.
Lovely One,

It’s time.
Let’s go in.

-- by John Tranter

Another fuckwit drops into the dustbin
of history, just as we're finishing our coffee.
Some of us are meant to burn out, is that
right? Like roman candles, across the night sky.

I want to go up like a tree, not a rocket.
I'd like to get drunk disgracefully
with a favorite neice, and grow old
among an amplitude of footnotes.

Pour me another Pernod, Famous Poet, and
tell me again about the doomstruck literati,
those dropouts immortalized in ink -- your
thirst, your secret greed, your mausoleum.


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