American Papyrus: 25 Poems - LightNovelOnl.com
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Thoughts that the energy of youth Had some pivotal focus Made each imagined man to him Like a lollipop, but the parks would not do:
There the man with the smashed fender Might be obligated to 69 A winner without a face-- a drag race ending in the winner's backseat, And on his tools which would rib in.
And inside that bar where women snuggle Away their faces in equality, And where men rotate hips on the dance floor Like an earth's axes...this would not do: For there were no friends to affect Mutually and faggishly in embraces; And the young and sensitive Were Oriental and fonder Of the cigarettes They put in their faces And the beers that suddenly appeared Before them. This would not do: Mouth-hugging the earth On its bulge of life Or moving to songs Where the dances never end.
He was an old fag and must retain A square orbit.
It, at least, Was a gentleman's right And in accordance with the Manner of the fags.
The block was long.
In the shadows and oblique actualities He felt its length. His stomach tightened In fear of the length.
No, the supremity of having been split off from A larger entity by being spit out From pussy lips while Reeking pain and havoc Like a living tongue pulled From aperture and den Is not sign enough That he is meant To be sustained As an integral part of the world, Unique and indispensable.
Thinking about how much longer He will need to play out the day That issue is not his, and never has been.
"The job was done"
He could say, later, After the storm.
Hand-limp, His broom dance sweeps Upended under an empty park bench-- Dirt caught under The tongues of his feet-- So his paycheck Will come in the mail And become bank figures He can suck from To keep he and his woman Housed and fed, and well enough To legally rape each other in embraces, Forgetful of their lives.
The man has a son, and stands nights aching behind an assembly line, Sleeping the days away While his son goes to school.
The son thinks his father Is thoughtless and dirty And his mother a grease-bitch For marrying him.
The son grows up Between his college books, And begins to put it together: A society of men Wanting to take a variety Of stimulating produce-- Though some were more the makers Than the takers; The image of rightness In a man putting his hormones To the making of a company In a family; a family That needs a provider to survive; A man honorable and trapped
And there are nights He awakens, gagging at the Sudden thought of a man Next to him Who had engaged his body In a lower form of sharing.
And he wonders if embracing a world Of ideas can be done When all things cannot be believed; If humanism is Energy vented To avoid futility; And what grossness He would have to justify next-- All on those nights When self-perspectives Are swept under in change.
Man of Coal
You knew it was coming: Twenty-three years and the mine Would notice you one time, Photocopied.
A voice below bellows Your name, Dave, Into the settling air of coal dust.
After you shut off the engines And descend beneath the dragline's skeletal Nose which canopies like a skyscraper on Its side in mid-air You confront a face You cannot see in the descending sun. Shadow-still, Enormous might engulfing over you To the height of The dragline's triple-tank wheels, You see him-- The heels on his leather boots Locked in the train-track grooves of dirt.
As he hands the notice to you Its stiffness shakes In your calloused hand.
You know that what is left of the day Is becoming cold; and despite the smell Of dirt there is a scent Of watermelon in the damp air, Although you do not know it as that smell Or that there is a smell at all, really.
And yet a faintness of some half-knowledge That touches its weight lightly in your mind Drags itself into places you cannot touch.
Pulling out of his shadow You think of how you might hand This sheet to your wife Like a child presenting to his mother An award from school: Your wife screaming laughter of relief As she hugs the paper to her breast;
Or how your strong hand might sweat As you pick up the receiver of the ringing phone, Expecting that after saying "Hi"
That one of your college children's voices would end The conversation there For you to hand the vibrations To your wife--but instead That child Congratulates you For no longer destroying the land.
The noon hour whistle Vibrates the walls Of the hollow heavens To the cab; the thermos-well Of soup, sitting on your lap, you cannot see, but You feel its stillness Stagnating and absorbing The contaminating minerals Of the tin, walling in the contents; And still you want to turn on the ignition To finish out one more complete day In the twenty-three years here Of hard work.
The quandary then snaps, and you escape.
When out of the valley you enter the truck And close the door-- The second time harder, and it latches.
You turn the key And the truck bounces to the highway.
You stop at the sign; Stop the motor while Still on the dirt road; But in the end turn left, again, Home.
Maddog (Or Death to the Barbie-Dame Image)
You said that it happened--that day you ran away From a self you buried underneath the ice-packed snow,
All those cold years ago--when your last friend, then Had put an end to the Gabriele whom I've never known.
This Friend, like yourself a Barbie Dame, became totally lame and Withdrew out the door when you needed more hands to keep Your epileptic roommate From smashing her head on the floor.
Gabriele, held together by the stitching of hate-- The plastic-eyed polar bear with the stiff arms That the factory of the human race mutantly created-- This time it will be you who shall feel the wall of artificial Fur ripped from its threads, and your stuffing falling out.
For a little maddog on top of four joints Makes a person see the unsealed human fragments That had been smoothed over in time Like a million and some bone fractures The milk of approval had swum into and covered over for looks.
For me fragmenting came yesterday when I saw a welcome mat Iced over and yet I entered: Your house was hot and your oven smelled of baking meatloaf Although you had said that you could not be domesticated.
And then I saw your bottle of wine Standing at attention before two glasses.
The pledge that bowing to anything or anyone was wrong...that people Were only needed to gain the most bare Of physiological and psychological needs (pitstops to being human)--this was gone.
Gone with your hair brushed and your skin smelling of perfume For some other man than me.
Come on Gabriele, the gal that used to chew tobacco and Spit it into an empty beer can...
The gal with the deep dark-ocean eyes...
The maddog gal, grip that wine glass now.
For Gabriele, you smile at everyone with meaning You are as together as a feather when a hurricane is in town, And when the hangover's over and your own insight has Fragmented you from a million pieces to a billion, My stiff polar bear arms Shall poke and not embrace.
I sit back at this party I am hosting-- My back firmly pushing against the back of my chair, And my head and eyes cocked.
You all are the performers this time...
And Gabriele, you are the main attraction, Attracted, after this night, to the omni-present sense of your Smashed self; and me-- Sensitive little me in no man's land Where no man wanted to grasp me from...
And no woman-- Mended back together in thy survivalistic polar bear image.
i don't have those visions anymore."
And you believe with a mind like Papa believed with When i told him i could see things Clearly before they actually Were.
His back and forth pacing from those same two windows-- Which had been like a toy soldier powered on a human battery With a three minute's stand at one, and then the next,
Suddenly stopped. For i was different. You anointed me And cast me out. i was alone. You caused me to hide Beside a pitchfork in the shadows of the corners of the barn.
Yes. Papa stopped. His eyes moved. i'd never seen his eyes move Before.
They stared down at me. My child's eyes Below--and he aimed his for them as a fisher for prey in clear waters.
i backed up behind the pipe of the kitchen stove..
But with one stretch he reached his arm over Like a bear's paw that in force comes down like a Redwood.
my knee aching as if broken, i crutched up From the other side of the room, beside the door....
Then, bending on my knees the next conscious second-- Feeling the blood of knee caps sticking to hay and dirt-- Seeing the sun poke like sticks through rafters and cobwebs-- Thinking i grabbed a hold on the sunlight which could Lift me Up like a rope; but grasping the pitchfork-- Raising the pitchfork-- Pitching the pitchfork-- After hearing the creaking and scraping of the opening barn door Plowing The top soil of the dry earth. Thinking: he would never kill my shadowy corner.