July 8, 2009

The things that pass for knowledge
I can't understand

Llyn Foulkes, The Lost Frontier, 1997–2005

-- by Frank Stanford

Death is a good word.
It often returns
When it is very
Dark outside and hot,
Like a fisherman
Over the limit,
Without pain, sex,
Or melancholy.
Young as I am, I
Hold light for this boat.
When the rest of you
Were being children
I became a monk
To my own listing
Nights and days floated
Over the whorehouse
Like webs on the lake,
A monastery
Full of noise and girls.
The moon throws the knives.
The poets echo goodbye,
Towing silence too.
Near my house was an
Island, where a horse
Lathered up alone.
Oh, Abednego
He was called, dusky,
Cruel as a poem
To a black gypsy.
Sadness and whiskey
Cost more than friends.
I visit prisons,
Orphanages, joints,
Hoping I'll see them
Again. Willows, ice,
Minnows, no money.
You'll have to say it
Soon, you know. To your
Wife, your child, yourself.

Note to self
-- by Bob Hicok

Here: settled. This I am doing amends
rend, wholes. Who finds that: the boat,
the oars, can say to flood: I rise above.
The best of? Don't know, but by word,
am making of bad and good some third, a world
of minded chance, of whorled suppose:
of ouch and is, deposed. Dear rest
of me: so there. The desk of me
is happy, well, is geared, turns
from fact to future, tongues the tocks
alive. Lordy lordy: I am of this
and nothing else. What the second feels
I say, what bless, what thrive, and mostly
wrong but close, closer: I hold on
and out, less for now than every next arrive.

-- by Kevin A. Gonzales

We were driving to your funeral
& our father was not crying
because he has a way
of tying ribbons around grief.
It was the year we learned
the piercing that prefaces the blood
holds the most delicate of darknesses.
Then it was the year we opened
all our faucets & waited for the sea
to bleed to death. Then it was the year
we set fire to your mitt. Then, suddenly
the year we started to believe
every thorn was just a bridge.
Then the year all we talked about
was boxing. Then the year
my stomach hurt all year, & then
the year no one spoke of you.

If there were an antonym for suicide
we could all choose when to be born.
I would have been born after that day
so I could not remember you.
So my fingers would stop pointing
at all the things that aren't there.

-- back Tuesday


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