26 January 2009

You wish upon a star, and it turns into a plane. I guess that's right on par, who is left to blame?

Blue-Jean Jacket, Fries, VA

Shopping At The Ocean
-Bob Hicok

Trying to save the bug she killed the bug
and I won't call you dumb ass by saying
there's a lesson in this. There was a smear
in this and driving and some music
from our past that captured our hands
and heads with its embarrassing sweetness.
We were traveling toward shoes or spoons
or rice in white boxes, always we are buying
something, I haven't made anything useful
since I filled construction paper
with a red sky and green sun
and then unrolled my body into a nap. She
was talking and fortunately I watched
her lips form sounds about a grandfather
who shouldn't be alone because the lips
revealed a quaver hidden by the folds
of the sounds, her face needed to cry
while her voice pretended
it was in the next room asking
if I want tea. She's like this
more than anyone should be like this,
wanting to help her grandfather
wrestle with food and air and the suddenly
spidery nature of sheets, at 87
everything's a tangle and driving
to buy soap or corn chips she remembers
that making change last Tuesday for a paper
he blanked on quarter and dime and just
opened his palm and let the man
wade through the silver waters.
I won't call you idiot by saying emotions
are like plate tectonics but her chin
buckles to the upwelling fear and what
she can't change she fastens on with greatest
devotion. Now and then someone will live
forever but otherwise the trajectories
are fixed. She knows this and that the bug
she tried to scoot out the window
had seven hours to live before a bat
scooped up another pinging meal.
There's no possible segue to the romance
we'd intended our lives to contain. I'm
a dumb ass because what I offer
for comfort is straight off the shelf, hand
on the thigh, kiss on the cheek, I excel
at purring uh-huh in a way that drives
the speaker on toward exhaustion. For her
I'd be a poison eater, my mouth
divine, I'd suck the sorrow out and spit
its thrashing body from the window
and there, her grandfather would live
forever, there, her friend's father
would rip the cancer from his chest
and weave it into a basket, there, she and I
will see mountains get bored
with clouds and money turn
to swallowtails and the moon
split into seven moons so there's always
one in the sky when you drive
to the ocean instead of the store
and get out of the car and swear
at emptiness because you know it's the animal
that will win.

Upon Discovering My Entire Solution to the Attainment of Immortality Erased from the Blackboard Except the Word 'Save'
-- by Dobby Gibson

If you have seen the snow
somewhere slowly fall
on a bicycle,
then you understand
all beauty will be lost
and that even loss
can be beautiful.
And if you have looked
at a winter garden
and seen not a winter garden
but a meditation on shape,
then you understand why
this season is not
known for its words,
the cold too much
about the slowing of matter,
not enough about the making of it.
So you are blessed
to forget this way:
jump rope in the ice melt,
a mitten that has lost its hand,
a sun that shines
as if it doesn't mean it.
And if in another season
you see a beautiful woman
use her bare hands
to smooth wrinkles
from her expensive dress
for the sake of dignity,
but in so doing reveal
the outlines of her thighs,
then you will remember
surprise assumes a space
that has first been forgotten,
especially here, where we
rarely speak of it,
where we walk out onto the roofs
of frozen lakes
simply because we're stunned
we really can.

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