The gentleman in a little Swedish town re-wrote Antidotes for an Alibi, cleverly-so, making old news young again –>
(a king’s alibi)
a machine played back the story. mother phoned father to me. enchanted the little kettle dripped hints of home-ground coffee. a cornershop spirit. an old minstrel show. warm featherbed & hope chest. a glimpse into the black. cigar so historical. set upon the anteroom shelf the words keenly followed. a crew telling in-jokes to themselves. the tailor divining milk from its coat pocket. that was the day a battery box suspended quiet. history told as an eminent doctor above water. napkin-folded boats find purpose at sea
make a miraculous bluebird. make wine to toast the tender empty church echoing bats. cage the dog’s bark. veer into stampbook etiquette of peace. photograph a functional razor where unarmed people approach the hovering trees. sing songs of memos on tender tendons. break from citizenry & become the land you’ve always meant. lip-sync history along with the world. brighten the woman on the curb. report before sundown
they live as if within a large city nestled in a valley. husband mows & wife vacuums. they stretched each other to influence. they were like moving in. she broke every crayon in the box. household acts boiled over the likelihood of work. your signature loving you stings paying a piper’s penalty. bulletproof people who classify ketchup as a vegetable with or without faith. you cannot believe the wind last night. made of water & light an iceberg floats into you. a patchwork seamstress watches her flower garden. i eat the neighbor’s mountain side. i steal lines only to ask if there was ever a question. i have lived on the rooftop in internal weather. sun on top. i’m also taking your small house. shocked that one day i fall asleep the crowd never acts on its own theme. giraffes feed on leaves from my upper branches. streets report back to me. like snakes we shed guns
another freedom learning only the lights of asylums. city-born flies bark & reach toward the rafters. mosquitoes & night moths fill government
a capsized girl holding court. neighbors on a fence rumble. ramblings of old men seated on stoops. they discovered color returned. he dons his work-worn cape. resists a person who has false teeth & makes a certain hour. he was a bee in summer & in the wake of your buzzing bridge. played a sleepy harmonica that pushed puddles to deeper lakes. a peony eats its neighboring cow. after dinner teak wood fell for cork. lightning drowns veined wooden frames. fat berries ripened brought back from dust fields. peasants dance stomping tile flowering with sin & perfection. bourbon-doused dusk. every twig snapped. vipers in the grass heard their sleekness between thin blades. wars rained upon the fields. wine-stains or silk vest. background cow smiles loudly. silver night spreading westward. toad on an old country road exit. creek babbles brook-like. disappearance messing with directions on the drive back. sleepy gravel road pours forth evening breeze
p.s. The image is Marcel Duchamp as Belle Haleine, 1921, not as Rose Sélavy.
p.p.s. Do you still advocate the Jim Crow mentality?
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Amy King is the recipient of the 2015 Winner of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) Award. Her latest collection, The Missing Museum, is a winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Prize. She serves on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts and is co-editing with Heidi Lynn Staples the anthology Big Energy Poets of the Anthropocene: When Ecopoets Think Climate Change. She also co-edited the anthology Bettering American Poetry 2015 and is a professor of creative writing at SUNY Nassau Community College.