Friday, January 29, 2010

what to say, when to go

The night doesn't love you, and the day only stays up to see you break. Time's bitter river flows right through that hole you hide inside, tears and ashes, broken toy's and dead pets. Cold fingers fumbling with your clasps and buttons, you heart full of snubbed out cigarettes and the aimless applause of the rain. The nationless flags of empty plastic bags unfurl before you. Somebody ought to salute.

All the wounds of the open-mike poet are opened word by word. The weight of solace in the crowd makes for a curious science. The press of attention, the absence of honesty in so much urgent truth. Bombs and babies, the greedy thieve from the hungry, so many fathers and their busy hands. Earnest ink aging suckling flesh. Everybody's a comedian.

Dawn waits to wash over the eaves and trees, the moon on a tear in the scattered clouds. Eventually the need of these strays owns you, and empty of anything else, you try to be that useful thing. Watch the clock, mind your manners, try to strike first with the open hand. The virtues of this palace of bandits and devils worn upon your weary shoulders, word after word strung together, pearls for swine or popcorn for the birds. Hard to measure the current that flows through this currency, the cup turned over before the first round is done. Another day shows up too early, after again you waited too long to leave. Someone asks "hot enough for you?" And you smile despite the hour, the rictus owed to ritual, the price of omission.

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