January 5, 2011

The Chrysler Building will never fall down
as long as you frequent the bars in this town

Alfred Stieglitz, Old and New New York, 1910

Real Life
-- by Kim Addonizio

Here we walk without wallets,
no keys to anything. The gates
swing open, we move among the
cows, hot hills, at night through wet
foxtails; the kitchen light hums
winged things circle it. Yesterday
you slit a snakeskin and found
the diamond pattern interrupted,
in the center, by a heart:
covered it in salt, tacked
it to a board for drying out.
This evening it's soft, the scale
you peel for me a tiny
translucency in my hand.

-- By Dennis Mahagin

Turning a bit
vegetarian, I thought it
might help shed me some
weight, although there's not
a diet been invented yet
can generate clarity,
grace or tender

mercy, meanwhile
most of your DMV's
are ghost principalities
now, non-celestial

hierarchies laid to waste
by computer hackers crafting
bogus ID's
in cyberspace,
ribonucleic winter,
final frontier with a
web cam face.

And poets
in poverty? Those albatross
hunters tantamount to salsa
chefs on Martha Stewart
Living? Be standing

in, while she's carted off
to penitentiary, whoring
best recipes for a grand
per month, a resistance

to E Coli
and hoof n' mouth built up
always one mad hour or so
before a dame, easy on
the eyes is carted off

to chicken prison, about chin
deep and rising, poets in poverty
inured to death's bite, more so
at least than rock stars like

Sting who invite
dictators to corduroy
power brunch, extended beastly
tax cuts for the wealthy, pineapple
junkets, Monsanto pea pod freak
show, day at the
coast, nip - tuck,
pork loin derivative
marinades by numb
minions; the days

right? I'd like to get them all
reading my feed, those nights I
spent in amnesiac sorties, auguring
my dome light auras and dim

from the bottom of a Taco Bell
dumpster in northeast Portland, uncouth
bunker glazed with hamburger goo, color
of rust, a rich stench of death all up
in there, too, and a
manager who
snapped me

out of it, pouring iced coffee dregs
as if to soak cold ashes, he said, knock
yourself out buddy
boy but buy a fucking
clue, please
wake up, he said
it and sniff it
too at your

leisure, your soy,
your Holiday Inn on Airport
Way, where I did some gourmet
junk around '92, can't possibly
say, lest I swallow my
own tongue,
when I go

down into it, you must
simply clear the avenue,
I probably won't

die, comes from
switching pain pills
out of celery, and pray
it never happens
to you.


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