lost ironies

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Tag: poem

any Saturday

on any Saturday viewed through a window
see the shadows of aeroplanes in silver subway rivervalleys the
luxury cityblock canyons of sidewalks & itchy fentanyl streetcorners
Chevrolets of gutter quit decades & fat relic finned Chryslers
cops on Harleys & rave in the grain the diagonal weave
alleyways & fireplugs red & ready the big girls & shrill boys
waiting on chance felony & dark they sulk but see you
on any Saturday viewed through a window








Oh! she said

she must have seen something worth Ohing! over
maybe elephants or God for
Oh! they say she said
at the moment of her death—

maybe as in Oh!
please don’t grieve
well not too much
not so much that people say, Oh!
just please stop it or

as in how nice to have Wednesdays free
now finally that I’m passing on, Oh!
my life of Wednesdays could be such a pain the
kids the shopping the middle of the week the bills

the bills, Oh!
Bob Oh! David
Oh! Linda, Danny and Lisa
and Sundays the
arguing the quiets and Christmases
and looking at photographs
I did that sometimes

I was once so young
she may have been saying my
children so happy there was love
after a curious hard fashion, Oh!
did I leave the stove on?








autumn poem

I remember
my father done told me
when he was a kid
every fallen leaf was a sawbuck
beer and smokes were free and
any old key opened any old door
on a cold October night

then he said
“I used to have time on these.”
holding out his working man’s hands and
then kicking the autumn leaves
(I kicked them too) he said
“Rare have become the sawbucks.”






pale bread and honey


hunger dances alone
in dark empty places
but though it is harder
than sidewalks and hate
it is smaller than a plate
of pale bread and honey








crimson heart


leave streets be streets
with verandas above
mermaids and midwives
and tattoos of love

I am holy
I am art
I am the ink
of the crimson heart







big fat fly

the idea arrives in a quarrel—
your wits with your age—or
in the mail or drops from a web
buzzing, hitting your window
like a big fat fly
demanding freedom

open a door, it’ll say, you have the right

so you do and it flies
out across the town
with its Ku Klux steeples
and dreamy Bull Run romances
then low over the roofs
of fine Holocaust deniers
and though you salute and shout and
your hard done-by story
will only ever be spoken
on divided dim basement nights
of disappointment







high heels and flowers

before she sleeps she is pleased
with her difficult definitions and
confident in the cosmos of animals unseen
pleased with the purr of the city at night
and burning for the morning
in its high heels and flowers

high heels and flowers
high heels and flowers
when dawn arrives there’ll be garbage trucks

and strings of pearls as the morning
struts with certitude
into the afternoon







the August

the August sat on the side of the locust road
and drew with a stick shorter days in the air, drew
nights cooler on the land you couldn’t keep
a shed the trees the hollows a house
all unshaven and evangelical and the August
drew in the grit your hard to utter rage—

anything less than hatred was deception

—so you loaded your weapon with vows
and the August was proud ’til September










I am a bombfalling

I am a bombfalling
toward a place called Downthere a
nationplace of ordinary dreamfaith
where children roam vast prairies and men are bitterfrail
with my bellyfullofatoms and the airwithprayer
warprayer erase oursins
and cleanse us all of fireandfury








dust & anger

this isn’t why my mother had me
rooms of dust & anger
but maybe my father did—
had me like you’ve been had
he was funny that way (ha comma ha)
whereas my mother
(the Casserole Goddess)
had me in innocence
raising me first with patience
then disappointment then
epiphany as the neighbourhood swayed
my father smoked
& the gallant automobiles of the sixties
slept at the curb &
much later when we spread her ashes
(always stand up wind when spreading your mother’s ashes)
watching what was left of me
she grinned in the trees