lost ironies

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Tag: poem

sister somewhere

wall is something with a somewhere on the other side
guessed opposite at by its lonely sister somewhere who says
I am best so lonely that is being she’s a something that has read
her William Carlos Williams she thanks and admires
the graffiti tagged obstacle before her alone I am best alone
thus disconnected from other loner somewheres the wastes
grasslands the spines of continents cities the planets and stars each
their own somewhere exquisitely lonely a blessed lonely that
only really hurts on Saturday nights imparting the basic look in her eyes








she would never be a planet

it was a Tuesday thought
she would never be a planet
no orbits for her no
place on a mystical chart
oh Emily Dickinson
where were you when she needed you
so suspiciously perfect your metre
(who were you trying to impress?)
and Gertrude Stein
your verse so blank
so serviceable before its time
and Sylvia so self-deadly we found you lost
and wept the
poets were useless
and she’d never be a planet







making photographs

don’t look into the lens you Sylvia Plath you
there be monsters there
where I live too keeping fiasco rooms
faces protests and frank poverty
but I bar nature at the door
nature don’t even knock don’t
let me hear you in the dark hall
snacking on the sunlight in your pockets

don’t look into the lens this ain’t no portrait
no one will look into your eyes your smile is meaningless
it’s your misery people want to see that’s right
look over there where you figure there might be an out
so you won’t have to look at me in the direction
you were looking when I found you yeah it’s cruel
but it’s also art it’s art baby don’t fuck with my art







Easter poem

we’re gonna put you on the dime
for Easter, baby your profile
the milky sound of fireworks & Resurrection







haunted shelter


Gustav Holst plays in the dim gymnasium
—the gentle decay of orbits

I pass through the gym with my eyes on the floor
for there are monster faces in the shadows
of this old and long haunted church

then comes the two-way Narcan(!) crackle
someone dials 911

the face of the man on the washroom floor is blue when I arrive
the first two naloxone injections haven’t worked, and I
see flap in the faces of my unflappable coworkers
we wait on the third dose then hear
the fabulous deep inhalation

it’s raining outside
a trivial detail
but it fascinates me
after the ambulance has gone






the New Yorker

if I had money to do laundry
I’d pretend to read it—
the New Yorker in the white white laundry room
& hope the other laundry zombies see me
thinking oh look at him
ain’t he intellectual!
reading articles too long (don’t they have editors?) dense & oozing smug
even when the authors play street

but the Irvin font always laughs at my poverty—
just look at the ads, I
didn’t have money for laundry 10 minutes ago
what the fuck would I do with an Audi & a bottle of single malt?
& golly look at the comics
who are these simplistic summer camp mother fuckers?
thinking they’ve got irony in their hip pockets
hugging their Swiss Army knives

it’s only three seventy-five for a wash & dry
in coin of course, yes I know it’s a lot to ask
but I smell like a holocaust
in case you haven’t noticed











starry out tonight, them
rolling by falling off a cliff edge somewhere
you don’t hear about the Italians I grew up with anymore
how the grapes on their father’s backyard vines
looked frosty even in the summertime
Angelo was a high school tough guy
one Christmas his father gave him a black eye
to match his mother’s, his
brother Tony graduated at age 16
we all watched the starry night some nights
I got kicked out of school in grade 8 &
did some crime
small things judges & jails
turned out I heard voices
there I was one night surrounded by cops
guys I knew who with their gutter grubby hands
liked to go through my pockets
they held their long black flashlights like cavemen
I waited for one to say “Ugh!”
this was gonna hurt no matter what, so
I went at the big one, the
grinning monster with murder on his Craven A lips &
starry out that night







first date

you should know, my dear
that there is no romance
like the romance of rhyme

& not just the sound
of sounds in time

but the spoil & echo of a night judged too long
when someone’s left weeping
& the air lush with wrong








to be left ajar
so that things might stroll in
an idea &
not wipe its feet, not
bow to a household god, a
halo of some starry night &
not hang itself neatly from a hook
only slightly ajar at night
so that the cigarette smoke remains virgin
& floats slow as nebulae &
her green eyes are clusters &
her hurt the harm









Christmas poem

we’re gonna put you on the dime
for Christmas, baby
your profile the milky sound
of distant rockets

you’ll be nostalgia
once the queen of penny candy
and live in pockets
the spare change stared at
in the palms of disappointed hands

I knew her once
a man will say
before she became a dime
before she was silver
and stamped with the year
we failed to understand
each other’s eyes