After Poetry Class
(and travels thereabout NYC)
In the gauntlet of commercial stray--
42nd and Broadway, fluorescing gyrations,
The heavyset guard in federal fray-
I wander passed to review my dissertation...
Shall I write about my impetuous visage?
The sun setting like a healing wound
Between our two houses,
The summer dress
against milky white skin,
the breath of summer -- my childhood again.
Shall I attempt to break the system?
With an outrageous novel, an author's
Note of exploitation,
followed by a 20 page introduction,
Conveying and portraying and displaying
and imbuing and construing and
depicting my way to a college degree...
To enrapture myself in full
My impetuous visage unveiled in the chapped green book,
vines interwoven at the fringe --
the girl next door--
(We moved, said she hated me
at a fifth grade roller skate party,
and moved to Boston to become a doctor).
The vanilla serpent slithering through
a thicket of youth,
Me standing there with my freshly scrapped knee--
riding my bike down the stead decline
of Silvernail Drive
my arms spread wide...
with my slingshot
hitting the garbage can as
she escaped around
the corner of our faded house....
Halted at the intersection
waiting for my father's reply,
"Everybody dies, everybody dies."
Stupidly, I asked further as the sun
impaled against my awkward gaze
through the trees across the way
and the child safe minivan window
On our way to the dump on a Saturday,
That's about all I can say,
Deterred from my Indiana Jones
5 year plan,
I take off my boy scout shirt
and pick up a pen
I should have known then,
I should have known then
To punch a man can be quite a thrill
Even post nine eleven,
We're still Americans
And we can still hit each other
in the face,
Even when we're soldiers
stop-lossed in a superficial race,
especially then, if not then, then when?
Secure the area and make peace, my friends,
We'll walk in the cold and meet at our intelligent amends,
And then? I find myself in Queens
with good comedy in my brain from a jumbled scam,
together we ride, towards and under,
Where I once saw that last cowboy figure
In Times Square, standing in his underwear.