Wednesday, November 12, 2008
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
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
she was suddenly thrown back into the recent past
stories rose in her and broke
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