Tuesday, January 3, 2012

City Poem

Imagine our surprise
in such a tear-down & rebuild-type town
to see you not dismantled
when the cranes leaned in to peel
away your façade & to pick
you down to the Tyvek.
Nude women’s rooms, we, two
gay men, assumed,
avoided you in the Capitol’s long shadow,
passed you each day from work—
between occluding breast
and steel lattice, we did not know
inside grew a coat of bricks
to race the changing season.

The end of summer held on dark green
& through massive progress,
through regress and demolition.
They had to kill the train
before they finished the station—
did the workers fasten a tube slide
of hooked-together trash bins
to one of your windows. Just hung
there draining drywall, 2x4s and chairs

regress, feckless demonstrations & uptight
outrage; world-wizened projections in pampered
white-milk, parented, rigid minds
encouraged regurgitated libspeak not at all
radical if not only for its origin;
of banal repetition,
two lakes fed such shit in the seventies, now to algal sludge,
& who reminded of them again and again,
the the victim the victim, ever clutching his hair.
Man of inhibitions both annihilated and reinforced by whiskey,
spilled flour on the counter,
on the bottom of the plate in the bathroom
of impacted sinuses;
closed and then smiling, near & foreshortened—
a subspecies hyperaware of dragonfly being,
mouthless, really—
of my wakening eye, rosebud open & not dribbles but shots.
To die a slow death during the work week,
sometimes for anyone else.

City, I met you in my underwear,
You tear through the calendar pages with such ferocity & direction.
Your life is not of direction but in one.
City, I am ready to get work.
You were my first dream within a dream,
City, I met you on the internet,
City, you had my boyfriend when I could not
& will continue to do so.
Quell my jealous fantasies,
urge me to carve a spot.
Not made for anyone, you, City, were simply built.
Let the companies repaint the colors you’d see
on a shining plastic stand-alone
on a crumbling brick front that’s tagged—
Napa Auto Parts yellow and blue, chipped away & improvised.

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