Friday, September 21, 2007

The Status of My Book of Poetry

I'm collecting these poems like cranes,
Flying back to where they were folded,
Where the wind blew them from my arms.

I'm adjusting these poems like so many lenses,
Focusing on the minute minutes,
Twisting my eye like a Stevenson character.

I'm filing these poems like taxonomy
Decorating each one with dead Latin,
Asking them nervously to stand still while I count.

I am weighing these poems like cantaloupe
Using balance beam hands to hold
Both them and the memory they're worth.

I'm cutting these poems like nails
Trying hard not to rip them with my teeth,
No one wants blood at the cuticle.

I'm writing these poems like a ghost,
Face full of fingers, staring in foggy windows,
Kissing my words on the glass.


She slams the jump rope and against the ground, refusing to to jump.
Thinking the ground, for a brief moment, will fall from beneath her
And return,
Giving her the illusion of play.

The Drunkard

Someone's father can barely walk tonight.
Someone's husband just tripped over a shallow curb.
Someone's son just used the silver Pugeot to brace himself.
Someone's neighbor just sat on a nearby bench to rest.
Someone's math teacher will cross streets unable to see the cars.
Someone's friend will trip on the white lanes of the road.
Someone's childhood sweetheart will raise his hand to the light.
Someone's brother will close his eyes and smile,
Thinking of the people who will, under breath, apologize.
He hired that boy as a horse
Brought him trotting from some Indonesian pasture
Gave him Parisian stripes and narrow legged jeans
Cut his silky hair into a mane.

He bridled that boy with an arrogant pout
Made him royalty, queen, harem, gold-leaf slave.
When busy he ties the boy to railings
To people, to large unmoving bodies of water.
When done, he unties the boy and leads
Him down the small streets of the city,
Walking a step in front of him,
Pulling when necessary.

He hired that boy as a horse,
To ride, like Godiva through his aging biography.

Vouille Market

I wade through the market
That is a stagnant lake.
Small Kiosks of shoes and boot-legged DVD's
Float like algae on the water's surface.
I swim slowly, careful not to touch
The dead birds that float in my path.
A frozen covey, ruffled in flight,
Their feathers pass beneath me
Attached to walkers, groomed pets, bruised canteloupe.
They feverishly amble in and out of my way.
The water of the market clings like web
And every time their unwashed jackets touch me
I'm sure that I will drown.