Thursday, March 11, 2004

A                        poem
Nominally American Boy


We learned a whole list of conjunctions,
and he asked if we should use them—
small introductions to better points on average
as if everybody knew what he meant.

damn if I haven’t written this all/ready
begin it with a breathless cry
for the woman who taught me how to collect at all.

          (Don’t got any friends
kick dirt      don’t mope      take $2.50:
took money each week and went to the movies.
Walked from E 17th to E 22nd
through holy fences yellow yards
chased by dogs

growl        leap : roll        growl

by the Abandoned Field just past all the homes
a mattress with her name on it,
left cold: underwear
aluminum tabs
roller rink
and movies.

An action musical [    turn : buster taking flour:
taking sacks for real : now    ] A studied carnival


          I think I am;
          I am not.

    Song I wear on my Jeans

crawdads clip onto fingers when put to them
looks painful but is high comedy true laughs
gritty sand in my pockets after I fake fall
into the creek splash back crawdaddy hang
my names

and I got no pants without holes
start to talk like them real long, rude,
drawn out sentences lose my rs and gs
and tag along rather than lead
my names

I called Jimmy Sammy fr two weeks before
he slapped me upside my head fr mishearin
cause I liked callin him Sammy like from the movies
and its just that theres so many Jimmys
my names


          he hit me for watching him pee.
          squat when you do it.
          like a frog.

             An American syllogism

          A father guts a fish;
          A mother cooks a fish;

          I hate fish.

    On Returning

the most consistent phrase in a wooded cove is

          \trees in breeze blown back/

words in formation
sounds tailored responses not sponsored tales
unhinged boys run shirtless fast as possible
jump out over the gaping craw of the creek
and make way      FFFLASHHH
to the tunnels where a family of four were swept away
in the night-wake of the Arkansas River drowned dead
with the clerk from the QT all ignorant about
these flash flood events; they clinch fists
fingers pressed into palms—grinning or



lights out and more
seat of the pants move
guts in the belly run
cycling hands out up above
screaming and laughing

screaming that looks like laughing

and running        out into from
SAY IT: -- ----- --- -- -----

Make it new.      Each time.

Four of boys sit in silence.
Jimmy lights one match after the other.
Fast bursts of sulfur flame speak
      for the huddled group
      in proper English
      fulfill their desire
      to get IT all back.
                      A song by Bill S passed to DHL, Ca Ca Caliban…

Are you going to stay or run away?

Light and Dark battle it over against
a curve in flitting young shadows
until all the matches are spent—
all bursts, final gasps, sound our names.

    This boy’s wish, nominally American

            —dropped only a few lines from the title
I ran home
I am running home.
I am always running home.
I run home, then.

(I’ll just be quiet for awhile. I’ll wait a bit.)

I think about you. And I think of a new day.
I think about a morning sun coming up to wipe the cool from my face.
I think of blue skies that don’t end and a short breeze that makes me shiver.
I think about a tree I used to climb and a moon that sings to me.

I think of you, running with me
out over the creek and into those tunnels
where we might find a way
to never come back.

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