Thursday, March 26, 2009

flu

not years after tears
fallen over ash

nor days of malaise
after counting the cash

keeps this head buried
under arms
flat on the desk

as if in grade school
during a drill of some kid,

eyes peeking through
fingers attempting a glimpse

of enemy wing tip
seeding the sky with parachutes

that would blossom and foretell
bad fortune,

the trees were bare
and the sky looked grey, cold,

I cough and go through tissues
and wrestle with issues
in a greased, electric fever,
there is no lever
at the base of the bed
to open the trap door,

there is no trap door,
there is no switch
to lower the heat,

nothing is so neat
as simple things
adding up to
a theory of history
and forecast of
events no one imagines
in their waking life,

the land of sleep
is humid
with rumors
that another morning comes
all the same

if were all the same to me,

one strand of light
and then another
through the slatted blinds,

the limbs have all their leaves,
the rooftops are soaked in sunlight,

another box of tissue
and a bad taste
on the tongue tell me
this morning

"here I am again".

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Map of the World

Each unused piece of the puzzle
falls to the floor
as we make room for fruit drinks
and places to rest our elbows,

This map of the world has
holes in the cardboard ozone,
lakes where there should be
mountain ranges across the
severest edges of Asia,
gaping oceans of nothing
where neither land nor sea
define the tides or the shape of
the wind blowing over flatlands
and highest peaks,

Quite a world, you would think,
coming into being without
all its parts present in the roll call,
and even the curved and islet shaved
bits finding peace as they are pressed
into place, forced to make nice
with border cuttings that make no sense
nor which force the wrong populations
into the same small area,


And even now things get worse
with desert, which comes on a tray
that’s set on the table, we make remove
our cups and saucers,
take away our magazines and ashtrays,
the tray is moved onto the table top,
and the puzzle moves forward, to the edge,
and by the time the first slice of pie is
served on a dish with small forks
wrapped daintily in thin napkins
half the puzzle goes over the table’s edge,
into the brief outer space between
surface and floor,
half the map of the world
has ceased to be,


Irregular bits of the former world
resting in dissociated shards
on the heel marked floor boards,
and it’s not over yet,

Dear brother drops his
dessert dish and now
what used to be the
half of the planet
dreamed about in
a romance of travel
is completely, thoroughly
devastated and covered in cake
and runny icing.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What you cannot see

We would all believe in God
if he were handing out candy bars
from a bag that even His long hand
could touch the bottom of,

We might all smoke the same cigarettes
if our lungs would last

a thousand years of deep woodsy drags
and long harmonica renditions
of Bird's serpentine serenades,

Guns would be allowed in churches
if Jesus were a wanted man in Rio,

Maybe the sound
of traffic would
be flute music
and dialogues starting with
"Please" and "Thank you"
if we could buy more time
like it were bandwidth
or an empty store next door
we could lease,

But I go on instead
with the meanest of expectations
about what the neighborhood
has planned for me,
my foot hardly hits the first step
from the porch
when a cell phone
makes noises like
water flushing down deep pipes
and the woman answers it,
brings it to her ear and
begins to speak at a volume that
would make Satan bang on the
ceiling with every witch's broom
he could find,

Every other son and daughter
of an imperfect marriage
between heaven and hell
yakking it up with all their hand gestures
even though there is no
in front of them,
speaking loudly short of yelling
with every move they could bust
because what they can't see
cannot be disproved
and who or which might
beat them up or steal
their seats at the cafes,
grim thoughts that make
the five dollar coffee drink
in front of them
taste flat as cans
that have just met
a the back tire of a
a really big truck.