Tuesday, July 13, 2004


Ammendments are landmarks, cover,


Say, hey, we did this because we could--
      either a cut or an addition.

In Tulsa, 11939 East 17th St,
      a garage becomes a living room.

In New York, 181st & Broadway, or so
      Hudson Heights becomes, broker-created.

Both measure a pyschological distance:
      either a growing, shut grin or a shrinking, empty lot.

Ammendments add value to nothing.
      A tall oak bends in the doubled path of a waxing then waning arc,
      the measured weight from head to toe, of a child rope-swung:
      it remains green, brown, bark, still, one tall, oak tree.

Either the tree is there or it isn't; nevertheless,
analysands must pay for the lesson learned.

Sometimes, for no reason, my vision folds
inward--an envelope lip-folded over a secret letter
to one secret love from which many loves followed,
names I never bothered to learn, civics lessons,
cars slam into guard rails without moving, cups
fall from shelves without breaking, people slowly spit
on the back of my neck but are only breathing blocks behind:

the whole world catches up to me in one blink,
shatters and folds itself into predisposed seconds
of discovering unnames, unsaids, unowned shells
cracked, crumbled, assumed, measured,
unrolled.      I was a fan of shag carpet.

My parents threw a lot away.
We had a few dogs, puked a few times:
acid not bleach. I still stand in a utility closet.
Did I know then that the black and brown cords,
plug ends, broken cassette players, fabric
speakers, the knotted-wire mess untangles
to here, unravels into an always half-smirk,
double-lipped with alternating current, all
copper mouthed drooling.

We enjoyed digging into Oklahoma clay.
Orange, wet, compact:
      either a buried sunrise or submerged sunset.

I only just remembered a neighbor's parent's smile.
Now, a 23 year smirk; he offered it to Jeff
Whitewater, my Cherokee friend. The other half
of that cord used to punish was held by a woman
who liked to say she loved us afterwards.

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