18 June 2008

George Wallace

george wallace
it’s raining again in tinsel town

it's raining again in tinsel town not unlike
port royal in spring & o i am having
cool drinks with a man who wears
a white slouch hat & looking like mr
moto or only frank o'hara standing
with him under a ceiling fan life is
a black and white movie he says it's
1942 & he not only knows the customs
agent but what the cargo ships are
carrying on any particular morning
like this morning for example it's
automatic weapons he says jack
daniels too & plenty of it that swill's
much better for a fever than quinine
he says & in fact drunk neat jack is
quite restorative & a necessary item
and he places one hand on my thigh
life is a gesture, he says, not to say
a luxury, particularly for a man living
on the cheap & with the local economy
being what it is (which even i know things
have taken a turn for the worse) we all
have to do what we can he says when
there's guerillas (& he begins to sweat
like orson welles contemplating a painting
by jackson pollock) in the hills again,
but i always know where to go in a pinch –
he keeps a loaded handgun hidden on a rooftop
behind a cistern in a banana crate

my big empty glass of beer

sitting here with my big
empty glass of beer in
my big empty hands
empty as superman’s
last phone booth more
powerful than a baby
grand piano more ornery
than a pocket full of
river sand used up
like postage stamps
and more louder than
loud, a leaky roof,
the lobby of a holiday
inn, the belmont stakes
tighter than a tourniquet in
june and playing for keeps
like an accordion like a lightning
rod like serious pavement
more stoned than a
slide neck guitar
hopping in puddles of
summer rain wired for sound
like a cop car and parked on a
miraculously spinning bar stool
more playful than static
electricity faster than a speeding taxicab
running a red light like a pop tart
metered in spring reduced for
sale more vacant than a skid row
hotel than a stack of dimes than a crate
of connecticut apples more hungry
than a wolf with a rack of antlers
between his jaws harnessed
machine baked ruined
like a school teacher
like a quilted lamb
like a girl scout leader
like a bamboo curtain
tied down torn aside
removed from office
like a politician up a tree
like a fortune cookie
like suspicious lois lane

the difficult soldier

he saluted the passing clouds
he took orders from the wind
he wore a helmet made from white daisies
and he fed the general’s horse beans

he ate mud pies and let the air out of tires
he rode a bicycle across the battlefield
he kissed a sergeant on the mouth
and he shot a bunk bed full of holes

he claimed to worship a clay figurine
with an enormous penis and said whenever
new hookers came to town it was a religious holiday

instead of bullets he loaded
his rifle with grass seed
and peeled potatoes
down to his own finger bone

he taught a goat how to drive a jeep (the goat’s
name was modigliani. with a d)

he walked backwards to the front and
he applauded like a boy at the circus
whenever he heard the sound of incoming artillery

whenever he was ordered to kill
he closed his eyes
and fired his rifle
into the sun

i saw you through the window of a cross-town bus

sometimes i wonder if nature is
through fucking with me
i mean if i was meant to be
cooped up like this in
a cross-town bus
after spending all day
in front of a computer screen
crunching numbers i might as well be
back in a one room hovel in
eastern fucking europe listening to
other eastern fucking europeans argue over
a chicken and anyhow leaning my head like this
against a bus window leaning my head
against a paper thin wall or staring
at the ceiling of my shitty apartment in brooklyn
listening to air conditioners harmonize
what's the difference or should i say standing on a corner
of asphalt paradise with these bad shoes on
a cup of american coffee in one hand
and a new york fucking post in
the other – i want to
shout out 'no more
contact with the world!
make room for the skyscrapers!'
and after all why not let's
strip away the last root and rock of manhattan island
let's make way for subway cars full
of dumbfucking straphangers
give me steam pipes streetlights and manhole
covers no feet no spore no
shovel of breath
no welcome air no frog
no shale no croaking pond of
lily pad or fish spawn to
distract me take away
every spare molecule of
earth fill my mouth
with ashes my paycheck full of
empty lies make of me
a human engine
to your urban design

but then i saw
you, through the window
of a bus on the eighth street crosstown line,
stop to examine a shop window
on christopher street

i am a boy who flies in the sky

i am on my way
i shoot through clouds
they are better than jesus
heaven ain’t just any heaven
it’s my heaven and yes
i soar over apartments
they are irrelevant to me
i live up here, above wheat fields and pine
i sparkle like the fourth of july
i am not like you
with my necklace of rain
i am not like the others
with their home improvement smiles
i fly a straight beeline, i fly
a big loop-di-loop
and i take to the sky
call me poppin’ johnny
with wings like fire
if you want to see me
look up at in the air
i go where the birds go
and the sweet angels migrating
i have no schoolbooks
no home by seven
and no peculiar woman
who calls herself mother
the sky is not my enemy
the sun cannot melt my wings
the stars cannot scold me
and earth will never
drag me home

No comments: