June 16, 2010

Rub out the catlight,
rub out the village
red and white exit light
that's exodus damage
Why don't people think of who they use?

Drew Beckmeyer, Earthquake, 2010

High Windows
-- by Philip Larkin

When I see a couple of kids
And guess he’s fucking her and she’s
Taking pills or wearing a diaphragm,
I know this is paradise

Everyone old has dreamed of all their lives—
Bonds and gestures pushed to one side
Like an outdated combine harvester,
And everyone young going down the long slide

To happiness, endlessly. I wonder if
Anyone looked at me, forty years back,
And thought, That’ll be the life;
No God any more, or sweating in the dark

About hell and that, or having to hide
What you think of the priest. He
And his lot will all go down the long slide
Like free bloody birds
. And immediately

Rather than words comes the thought of high windows:
The sun-comprehending glass,
And beyond it, the deep blue air, that shows
Nothing, and is nowhere, and is endless.

Working Outside at Night
-- By Denis Johnson

The moon swells
and its yellow darkens
nearer the horizon
and soon all
the aluminum rooftops

shall appear, orange
and distinct beside
the orange sun,
while the diamond
flares in its vacuum

within. It is simple
to be with the shovel,
thoughtless, inhabited
by this divorce,
it is good

the luminous
machinery, silenced,
waits, nice
that the conveyor
belts choked with sand

convey nothing.
When I return home to
coffee at
7:45 the lithe
young girls will be going
to high school, pulling

to their mouths stark
cigarettes through
Arizona’s sunlight.
These last few months
have been awful, and when

around five the roosters
alone on neighboring
small farms begin
to scream like humans
my heart just lies down,
a stone.

1920 S St NW: The Chateau Thierry
-- By Terrence Winch

If you opened the door without thinking,
the entire neighborhood gushed into the apartment
like an open hydrant. We gathered around the black
and white TV like it was a tabernacle containing
the secrets we yearned to know. The first Gay Pride Day
made the building tremble so violently the roaches
scurried from the cracks and crevices looking
for safter quaters. Theodore, Edward, and Al
ran the only manual elevator still going in our
part of town. Church, violent and crazy, dealt coke
out of his first floor apartment. Mara owned
a dozen petite dogs to be avoided at all costs.
Zoltan Farkas wrote The Baltimore Poems
Then disappeared completely from the landscape.
I had a brass bed, my altar of love, and a cat
named Spooky. People yelled my name
up the side of the building, I threw them
a key out the window, and they rose
up to the fifth floor and through that open door
into my abode of bliss, which I still miss.


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