March 16, 2011

And so I dance in dirty pants
A drink in my hand



Jozsef Bullas, untitled, 2009

To be alive
-- by Gregory Orr

To be alive: not just the carcass
But the spark.
That's crudely put, but…

If we're not supposed to dance,
Why all this music?


Wheeling Motel
-- by Franz Wright

The vast waters flow past its back yard.
You can purchase a six-pack in bars!
Tammy Wynette's on the marquee

a block down. It's twenty-five years ago:
you went to death, I to life, and
which was luckier God only knows.

There's this line in an unpublished poem of yours.
The river is like that,
a blind familiar.

The wind will die down when I say so;
the leaden and lessening light on
the current.

Then the moon will rise
like the word reconciliation,
like Walt Whitman examining the tear on a dead face.


After Baby After Baby
-- by Rachel Zucker

When we made love you had
the dense body of a Doberman
and the square head of a Rottweiler.

With my eyes closed I saw:
a light green plate with seared scallops
and a perfect fillet of salmon on a cedar plank.

Now I am safe in the deep V of a weekday
wanting to tell you how the world
is full of street signs and strollers
and pregnant women in spandex.

The bed and desk both want me.
The windows, the view, the idea of Paris.

With my minutes, I chip away at the idiom,
an unmarked pebble in a fast current. Later,
on my way to the store, a boy with a basketball
yells, You scared? to someone else, and the things
on the list to buy come home with me.
And the baby. And your body.

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