singing to no one in particular

June 30, 2008

there are birds that sing with two voices
blessed with a divided larynx
were they people they could hold
two conversations simultaneously
and both turn out right in the end

now i am expediently perched
for precisely such an attempt
except that there is no interlocutor
similarly gifted and the two songs
are not aimed at each other

such an animal is split in the middle
by an impenetrable plane
cutting off its left hand voice
from its right hand voice and the heart
from the heartless yet also singing side

but if we possessed two hearts
our blood would flow against itself
better stay as you are a useless warbler
whose two discourses addressed to the void
receive no response to either

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waking up

June 28, 2008

you get up at dawn and you wash and you brush
and your dog wait a sec have you ever had one
is all over you and you pat her it all somehow fits
together coffee and bagel the wife kind of cute
with that unfamiliar face of hers calling you hon

once safely jammed by the congestion
you start seriously contemplating the words
as if tasting them turning them over in your mouth
what funny anatomy that by the way
the word dog the word wife and the funniest of them
toyota tracing it all back to the very moment
you get up at dawn but apparently fail to wake up
or was it possibly the morning before

perhaps we are all transposable the lack
of a proper person in some particular slot
wakes the entity in a spot where the shortage
is at its most acute but if so who the hell
is the entity that fell asleep in the first place

yet you dimly recall that the words
should have been different as if instructed
otherwise zhena sobaka bublik is zhena
the wife referred to as such in the fourth line
of a ditty being put together elsewhere
and the parts of the body still awkwardly

then it dawns on you and you freeze in horror
smashing the toyota into an oncoming truck


uncomplaining

June 25, 2008

an itinerant dons his woolens his furs and felt
daubs smelly seal fat all over his face
and sets off across the universe of ice
the seamless plain of snows that never melt

there are things in his knapsack that may turn out
useful and to make sure he took one of each
and cast an arbuscle twig to inquire about
direction if not the point he set out to reach

off you wander into the light that cannot fade
though faint since the sun is smeared with lard
so what if the ice underfoot is always hard
isn’t the rock and no one ever complained
follow the faithful twig never stray from the course
we all are natives and i am one of yours

fall asleep and blotches of green and blue and pink
pierce the ice like pale incunabulum ink
somewhere else not in this world of ours
bursting up like that from the dirt
you would make an effort and call them flowers
if you knew what they were and possessed the proper word
you could try and smell them sleeping late
but the blubber stinks awful
and the ice is as hard as fate


chiaroscuro

June 20, 2008

the night is the fifth postulate
solid but with the lingering the shade of doubt
police horses striding the streets
pierce the darkness with their alien eyes
the heavy hoofs clink like cracked metronomes

at the train station a woman to a random
commuter rummaging in her purse
it has changed my life
she repeats it thrice
to ward off possible doubts
it is never clear what it was
she intended to exhibit

suddenly one of the horses
peers inside from the outer murk
black muzzle against black glass
we don’t look back as if nothing happens

was it a gunshot we heard
across the warehouse block
life changes
losing its very name


half-birdlike

June 7, 2008

pushing light-bugs suspended in space
aside like some imaginary water
you come to what is water proper
a silver lake a sliver of the sky
with a gnarled tree angling for the drowned moon
this was an old man negro once but now
the denizens avoid calling it so

what denizens my ass

the thing that came here claiming to be you
is so thickly feathered it must be in fact
an alien avian creature of nocturnal
persuasion and you push the air
with wing stumps just glimpse within that silver
pity the air is too rare to take off
stitched through with the light-bugs to imitate its presen—Āe
water is much thicker than water
dreamt up by someone who never was a fish

it is not proper you and the fake wings
do not hold one aloft and if there is
such thing as water they will have to scoop it
out to extract the silver to forge the stars
for this landscape half-way into oblivion
ruled by the old man with no name or race
you see your own beaked image glaring at you
the tree the moon deep down and you hoot