Saturday, January 19, 2008

Gravy Boat

Timeless in airports
in non-smoking lines, every one deserves
where they're going to
I could say what I mean in congeries of intent,
but meaning is only a streak of luck
when the words like each other
and decide to try something new,
like a marriage that works
because husband and wife
are never home
on the same nights
and the sentence they've started
promises paroles and pardons
from the contract
of a kiss.

Under ether and the knife,
we might tell
the truth as we've felt
it for years
only after what's been killing us
is one with a snip and stitch.

After words, extraordinary language
becomes the way we walk
from the recovery room
in another light
of what's there, always the light
of fixtures that don't hide
the creep of gray hair
that is part of your response
to questions
posed like actors in costumes
for dramas about powdered wigs
from dead cultures
who tap at the library door
to know why and how come
all the lines are said in quirks
of style so fat with what
what you really mean
that the patient
yearns for the burn of ether.

Still, there is the issue of the magazines to read, the post
cards to write, schedules to memorize when coming into one's own
is an adventure traveled in the back seats of cars that are
rented with other people's money,
when the scenery passes
and the billboards of brief, smiling women
are more interesting than
the mountains or the forests or the
local histories ventured over ,
through or ducked all together,
when what you find yourself looking for
is anything with legs
that really speaks to you
in formations of language that tells you all about
a life too terrible
to survive the perfections
that binds a life to marriage
or occupation
that has a hint of escape
written illegibly in a liberty
that is mustache cups to drink from,
and advertisements on T-shirts,
work days one forgets
when you're having fun
testing markets
with a metaphor
for the phases of The Moon,
ebb and flow
that is a trickle of chump change
to pockets rich in lint
and holes that are all about
the money they can't
keep for the pants
they don't wear
while customer sales
tells everyone
to fuck themselves
with all the credit
they can get their hands on.

Witless in movie marathons hoping the hero
finds beauty tied to a tree
where there are
three bottles at her feet,
at the roots of her bondage.
Under the hot spaghetti sun,
our hero must decide which,
one trunk tethered woman
or three sealed bottles he
will have his way with.

This causes the Gods of competing absolutes
to laugh high -five each other
and cash in their markers
because the tangle of words
has become the record
that spontaneously combusted
in the heat of trying to ferret
a kernel of wit
from the incongruity of the example.
I go on reading bill boards, hear news reports
on car radios,
the voices reading the copy in
place-less accents
that sound like America,airless voices reading words

flattening ideas of pain
and renders
stories of lives and places
into neutered melodramas
whose endings I predict
like that geek
everyone knows
who can pick
the ponies in all
kinds of weather
but who
never places
neither a bet nor goes to the track,
but who reads
all about it, and that's all he needs.

Drifting into insomnia
and other satellite hours,
every light burns,
we are tired
at this end
of the century,
rhetoric falters
and has become
the real way we shed tears,
speaking falters
and faults are naught but
gaps that are filled
when we stop
clearing our throat
in search of speech,
too exhausted for miracles.

There is now a fade from
cue cards
and a desire for Neapolitan ice cream
with a slice
of pie to go with,
a fade
into the language of arms
that are not the
fingers I speak with,
stranger things
in a room
where every light
have coronas against walls
painted for years
the color of surrender,
we talk too much
about things.