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spacer.gif   Mike Puican
Posted by : cj on Friday, December 03, 2004 - 03:41 PM
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Poetry:  Click On The Author's Name We Are Part of a Story That Is Far From Ending


1.

An ash black and ash white evening, gradually
thinning clouds hang in this rush hour traffic.
The day's theme is gathering and dispersal.
In another city my daughter draws pictures of trees
on fire, fish who call for help from the ocean
nearby. The letters I send are returned,
unopened. I let a car cut in front of me
from the slow lane. His bumper sticker says,
"Accommodation is no guarantee of happiness."
Grief grinds its cigarette out on my windshield.

2.

There is a language of place, of setting,
spoken in the hard edges of traffic, in love
said only with hands-wordless, articulate.
The couple across the street says goodbye
in a doorway. On the corner, mute children
sign each other; they punctuate with such ferocity.
The arms of a boy on the park bench disappear
into his coat. A woman rests her head
against a street lamp, then raises it and walks off.

3.

In the city I left, I slept in the doorway
of the tenement that was torn down for the high rise
I landed my first job in. Down the street
I was promoted, divorced, obtained the papers
for my transfer. These places hold as little
meaning as the piece of paper I am writing on;
yet are what meaning attaches to, markers
used to determine what is kept, what is left behind.

4.

Tonight the crack in the asphalt is speaking to me,
the sparrow with moss tangled on its left foot,
the accumulating darkness. Each is speaking,
as if in tongues, to my ears. As I wait in traffic
smoke rises from the mouths of pedestrians
heading for the train ride home. Two families
talk between their cars as darkness gathers
and spreads. One by one vapor lamps down the street
spark and ignite. Love sees what the eyes see.



Negotiations

A sparrow falls in its flight between trees.
A lobster eats parsley from the pot it's cooking in.
Children straining to grow up are cruel
to animals, their faces flushed-no sense
of the approaching dusk, their numbed fingers.
A spider's legs are held to the ground, its belly opened.
Down the street, townspeople give testimony
at the tent service. They offer the same words
as though that would make them the right words.
Each struggling to name the silence,
its lack of response, the increasing darkness
we eventually learn to see by.
On the table cut flowers bend to a fading sun,
the table spreading toward the horizon.
Stars appear as darkness rises through us.
Outside the spider falls, falls again.
We discover the words, we lose the words.
The words hover in flames around us.


 
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