Poems and tune to usher your spirit through: the song above is “Eternal Flame” by Joan As Police Woman. Better to listen than watch, so goes my opinion — you’ll be distracted by the Brighton Beach scene. The two poems ‘buzz and boom’ (see below). You’ll find a music + more. Even if not within or without. Happy pitching!
In Michael Robins’s class minus one
At the desk where the boy sat, he sees the Chicago River.
It raises its hand.
It asks if metaphor should burn.
He says fire is the basis for all forms of the mouth.
He asks, why did you fill the boy with your going?
I didn’t know a boy had been added to me, the river says.
Would you have given him back if you knew?
I think so, the river says, I have so many boys in me,
I’m worn out stroking eyes looking up at the day.
Have you written a poem for us? he asks the river,
and the river reads its poem,
and the other students tell the river
it sounds like a poem the boy would have written,
that they smell the boy’s cigarettes
in the poem, they feel his teeth
biting the page.
And the river asks, did this boy dream of horses?
because I suddenly dream of horses, I suddenly dream.
They’re in a circle and the river says, I’ve never understood
round things, why would leaving come back
And a girl makes a kiss with her mouth and leans it
against the river, and the kiss flows away
but the river wants it back, the river makes sounds
to go after the kiss.
And they all make sounds for the river to carry to the boy.
And the river promises to never surrender the boy’s shape
to the ocean.
–From This Clumsy Living by Bob Hicok.
HOPE OF UNDERSTANDING
(In many ways, I’m a lot like Napoleon).
There is still one skull that no one has found.
Envy, Anger, Assassin,
Blind, Catch, Famine,
Grunt Birthday Party, I Would Have Been Your Daddy, Iron,
Black Eye, Thunderstorm, Sputnik,
Mythic, the nameless skull, and one other,
No doubt hidden inside High Charity or the Quarantine Zone.
It will start with a W, like
Will, What am I doing here?, Whuppapotamus,
Cowbell, or That’s Just … Wrong.
My language is as flawless as hers. Our guesses are as poor.
All our knowledge is gnosis, a butting up against,
a budding blooming confusion and unknowing.
The locks on her have been changed, so I must begin the impossible,
perhaps by sneaking in through the chimney in festive garb
taking nothing but pictures, leaving nothing behind.
Perhaps the skull will have no letters, but instead merely point to words.
Perhaps the W is a chair.
Perhaps the W is a king.
Perhaps the W is the idea of a child playing with a High Definition Television Set.
Perhaps is the operation I perform on the skull,
in the wandering hallways of I Would Have Been Your Daddy, then, in the sequel, Regret,
Then later, her mind.
Perhaps there is a chimney and perhaps I go down it, and
perhaps I understand these things found inside, but even this
impossibility floats on the phenomenal surface of her,
and the things in ourselves never find one another.
Still, even without hope of understanding, there is more here than I expected to find.
I had intended a kind of laying down, a kind of surrender, a kind of suicide,
And instead, an empowered martyrdom for the incommensurable center of you,
buzzing and booming.
–Thomas Mowe from Black Clock.
p.s. I can’t find anything more by Mowe, so if someone can point me in a direction, I’ll gladly go.
p.p.s. I apologize: the width of my blog breaks Mowe’s longer lines.
4 Responses to “Weekend Rally”
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.