Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Cornerstone at the Corner Store is Stolen

the silhouetted figure on the stage is a stranger to all present.

the handmade sign below the figure says only “CHAPTER”.

the colors are indistinct and merge in the darkened arena.

the trampled grass and clay field does not reflect the moonlight.

a man in a ski mask makes a gallant gesture to an old woman.

a little girl smiles and weeps as the pressure in her ears builds.

a band cannot hear itself over the sound of the descending craft.

a barrier of wood bursts into flames and debris is scattershot.

no one near it is injured or seems to have noticed the incident.

no boots or neutral colored ensembles are worn on this occasion.

no matter how many arrive the field accommodates the swell.

no questions of “whose?” or “are we still withering?” are asked.

down beneath the undercarriage the grass remains undisturbed.

down where the snakes still pretend to threaten when observed.

down the main road from here rises something barely visible.

down a list of those who think they know him are only ghosts.

what was this automatic marker put here for in the first place?

what makes the tooth of the lion more valuable than a pipeline?

what can be nailed shut can be kicked into the stars he whispers.

what fuses you with the sun is easier than flying home alone.

Monday, November 3, 2008

For Panic, Call Up


That was as much as the woman with the titanium pins

in her neck said over crepes

we had never met

nothing she thought could surprise her again but this

the words from the next table

anonymous laughter

she was suddenly thrown back into the recent past

stories rose in her and broke

she whispered

her father and brother locked in mortal shenanigans

the one a captain of dead men

all proud and recycled

in two wars the other afraid his eggs will be taxed

then the sound of some terror

a keening like pigs

or angels the whole family exclaiming Wha-a-t? as one

the men up and on their feet

hiking their dockers

into the night to meet the coming love catastrophe

the father had recognized the mob

he knew them from church

he drew a deep breath and spat lead at the neighbors

a great economic weight was lifted

and history redirected

that day will live as the birth of the Southern Continent

redistricted to insulate more

and be insulted less

districts don’t know their pins are shifting till it’s too late

the father is nearly ninety now

his books out of print

on football Sundays he puts the son in a crippling headlock

and on Xmas eve and morning

and on Thanksgiving

neither can understand the hub-bub over air to ground sport

yet the younger connects a dot

to a dot on one of his lungs

he knows what it’s like to try to run a boutique slave trade

dependent on the holeless skins

and general geniality

of less vulnerably bracketed lower forms he reasons with

he deserves a great credit score

makes things from clay

he thinks like a frame without the smiling family waving

the woman is mildly deformed

her neck won’t rotate

apropos the brother forgets to call her after her surgeries

she talks about other things now

like the price of crepes

her crepes are cold but she likes them that way she says

she refuses to speak in specifics

or touch on details

of the accident or how the neck was broken or by whom

she will only repeat the number

of breaks and pins

required to repair the injury and allow her to order wine

we will make love after lunch

twice a week she says

says I won’t be any more real for those encounters either

outside an old wolf is being cornered

his fur is wet and patchy