By Andrew Wetmore.
I've learned from secret intelligence reports,
Exit signs and highways
Are having adverse effects
On the phases of the moon.
But do you suppose that
Even airliners have migratory habits,
Patterns expressible only in code?
High notes on pianos?
and we ask ourselves
Who left the keys in the drawer?
Old notebooks set on fire
And the rolling boil of tin cans
Are equal only to the
Heating elements of stovetops.
The voices in the hallway can be overheard saying
That at this years Rose parade they will be throwing
Fingernails instead of hard candy,
With boutiques of chilled water.
Jars of bumble bees
Seeking for the consumption of garbage sacks
Earnest to the form of propane tanks
Finding comfort in cattle.
Reading the 23rd psalm to your dead.
Picnic mats and citronella torches.
Laughter as pools spread on dining room chairs.
And when I finish my masterpiece I'm sure you will laugh and nod
Punctuated by emphasis and questions of semantics.
Because they send our kind to grottos in Jallabad
For spelling death to old fire extinguishers and television sets.
Idolaters! All of them!
A van of opium users laughing at their own ironies!
Men named with colors!
New Bibles and Iron Fists!
Our absent friends and older looking faces!
The sound of small caliber rifle fire!
Pentagrams made of ethanol!
War paint in metal bowls!
Holy communions of breakfast cereal and distilled water!
three chocolate bars and a pint of milk!
I'm using my badge as a razor.
Rows of hung socks like gallows.
Witches and widows, ancient ships of Legos.
Slow moves to power and unnamed arch enemies.
Regimental colors are nothing but pagan symbols,
A symbiosis of interchanges
Casual clothes and history books
This all for the nail polish remover and
Anger at children.
Kilometers instead of miles per hour all the time.
Please enjoy and come back.
Know no languages other than your own.
We are gumballs that retain no taste,
Seven deadly sins painted on a board
But as of yet no cardinal virtues.
We are desperately in need of new Styrofoam cups
To pad the falls we take.
There are dial tones making headway with the
Fifty year old women
Naked and alone and making excuses for their
Cross currents shaped like a crucifix
Terrible and covered in the blood of oil canisters
Left out in the rain (the rain is just God's tears over his failures)
This all bound by electrical tape and wire spirals.
Nothing is more sure than the accent of the marks
Left on felt riverbeds
Literate and behind all the times.
Flooding out the creatures still underground.
Tied down making whimpering noises.
Thus for us
Three times three times three.
I cast all stones by this line calling the north wind.
What sort of thing calls my name from the tree branches?
What name is given to the dreamer when he finally awakes?
Spreading roots always made my teeth feel numb
Maybe I can begin to make sense
With my false gypsy rhymes
These small towns do not need you
But you them
Shrugging your chauvinistic shoulders
I can't live with a haircut that doesn't change for seven years
There are no more broken dishes
No more books with torn covers or beds left unmade
In the evening when you awake
Just as it took me forever to see you in glasses
It has taken me forever to get used to seeing you without
There are dead Russian novelists under your pillows
While you dream of a road with cemeteries on both sides
There can be no train tracks at two a.m.
Nor cop cars with dirty mouths
Just police investigators hinting at your martyrdom
Our arms look the same but for different reasons, I'm sure
What do you pray for?
While your brother and I made wars you read books about black holes
You first brought around one of my favourite kisses
And were rejected by another
But do you remember
Our water fights and spray painted flags?
"If this fat man should fall who will carry our flag"?
"Yes, but who will carry the fat man"?
Singing praise to a lion god while metal screamed behind?
Posing on a cannon singing the "Horst Wessel"?
Sitting on the tar and talking out the shooting debris called comets?
Driving into foreign named towns and attempting to pillage their pet population?
Trading letters over miles and adding more to our names?
Dreaming our way into houses made of straw to find that no air from our lungs would blow them down?
Eating fresh grown foods from the local cult?
Holes in the walls and doors shaped like our hands?
Cruising all night in your mother's car?
Hunting bubbles in the fields around my house?
Using antique shops for all they were worth?
Bulls and Bios and friends that were never home?
Midnight Chicago streets with no one in sight?
Mating calls for the plastic speakeasies?
Sliding into ditches for the help of farmers?
Guns filled with gasoline?
Dead Indian camps fashioned for greetings in mailboxes?
Newly discovered deer for the shovels?
Magic powers making all the flames rise?
Sunburns shaped like the unclouded skies?
Mud sucking at shoes?
The bones of ancient mounts rising from the leaves of uncounted autumns?
Messages in bottles that no one ever read?
Photographs lost to memories lost like snowflakes lost to sun?
No one is left in the cypress and mangroves where the calls of wild birds die
Let them hear
Verses of you!
You Rapier of Chicken Breasts!
Masticator of Mormons!
Attorney at Law!
Spanish Food Connoisseur!
Self Proclaimed Devil!
Photographer of the Dumb!
Slayer of Beasts!
Clutterer of Homesteads!
Lover of Kelly!
Legend at 23!
Mr. Potts and Al Gore!
Fighter Against the Jihad!
Descendant of Long Dead Kings!
Damned as well as I!
Ink man of Pictures!
Morte de Arthur!
Thus the Brambles!
Torches and Petrol!
Hoards All Underground!
Enterer of Data!
Warning Lights Flashing!
Fired Once Already!
Visions of a Seer!
Holder of Maps!
Quoter of Rhetoric!
Third Level Black Belt!
Priest of a Higher Order!
Sparks Flying High in Countdown!
Emperor of the World!
My Partner in Crime!
Methuselah of the Digital Age!