Thursday, May 22, 2008

Not Starring Chan and Tucker

Charles Simic read at UCSB tonight, and that got me thinking how my last few years of writing poetry I tried to do Simic poems. Not consistently, just when I wanted to be good. I'm not sure this poem (by me, not Simic) is good, but I like its spookiness, and I'm pretty sure it was an exercise that had to include 5 words, which five I can't remember (this is at least 12 years old). So be kind to it, you know how sensitive 12-year-olds are...


Luminous traffic passes the chalk
which outlines a complaint of what was
(can you believe this hushed thing I say?),
the commuters ashamed flames hoping to be home.
Ignore it, it's discourteous to look, like feeling
embarrassed for the blue asthmatic coughing
like a lawnmower with a knife in its clockwork.

Time is left to memorize your buttonholes,
the rustle of language in your throat.
Over coffee you told me of the first day
your daughter was sexy in nylons,
and I wanted to kiss your shadowy cheekbones.

Exclaim all your secrets as if we're flung
wreckage in the desert. These are just
my diminished wishes, my invisible heart.
These words are printed about my wrist
like an emergency medical bracelet, or maybe
just a rubberband, worn to remind
myself of something, but then I
wear it daily. In the winter schoolyard
pink children are shorn of their pigtails,
each and every one, by an aproned man.
There are too many stars.
There is too much crying.



Blogger Marty said...

I like to see your poems here from time to time. Nicely done.

2:58 PM  

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