December 2, 2009

I want to grow up and be a debaser

Isa Genzken, Basic Research, 1989

Where They Were and What They Were Doing
-- by Matt Cook

I was looking through Milwaukee newspapers
From the day after John F. Kennedy was shot—

There was this auto body worker
Who brought his BB gun to work that day;
He was arrested for shooting his BB gun
Out the windows of the body plant
At passing automobiles—

That's where he was and what he was doing
On the day President Kennedy was assassinated.

There was this biochemist.
He was giving this speech at some university in town—
He was inviting the audience to imagine
A strain of pneumonia bacteria
That was wearing a heavy armor suit that was actually made ofprotein—
That was his public speaking metaphor.
His point was that the protein would act like
A shield against white blood cells.
That's what that guy was up to that day.

And just outside of town somewhere,
A car slammed into a truck on a rainy highway.
The car guy died of head injuries;
The truck guy was in satisfactory condition with neck pain.

In satisfactory condition with neck pain—
That's where that guy was, and what he was doing.

The day President Kennedy was shot,
These kids broke into a junior high school.
They stole twenty dollars worth of stamps,
And smashed up an aquarium.

That was their story;
That's where they were and what they were doing.

The Surgeon
-- by Alicia Suskin Ostriker

I was still a kid
interning at State
he reminisces late in the meal—
It was a young red-headed woman
looked like my sister
when the lines went flat
I fell apart
like a car with a broken axle
Went to the head surgeon
a fatherly man
Boy, he said, you got to fill a graveyard
before you know this business
and you just did row one, plot one.

-- by Sharon Olds

By the time I was six months old, she knew something
was wrong with me. I got looks on my face
she had not seen on any child
in the family, or the extended family,
or the neighborhood. My mother took me in
to the pediatrician with the kind hands,
a doctor with a name like a suit size for a wheel:
Hub Long. My mom did not tell him
what she thought in truth, that I was Possessed.
It was just these strange looks on my face—
he held me, and conversed with me,
chatting as one does with a baby, and my mother
said, She’s doing it now! Look!
She’s doing it now! and the doctor said,
What your daughter has
is called a sense
of humor. Ohhh, she said, and took me
back to the house where that sense would be tested
and found to be incurable.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

got me a movie, oh oh oh oh...

slicing up eyeballs, i want you to know...

(black) sherwood anderson

10:57 AM  
Blogger La piedra imán said...

Ah! the flags erected by the death seems ethernal. The little flags of the life are fragile.

And these green colour on the picture are simply sumptuous.

1:39 PM  

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