Two corrections. First, the poem about Brecht was not by Zagajewski, but by Ryszard Krynicki. Second, prompted by Ann’s comment, the two last lines of the poem now read:
can we know
that we are not living in a fascist country”
The car is in the middle of the circle holding lamps and tennis balls to explain the solar system. With a bicyclist’s sense of entitlement, I am touching all the fire hydrants. Dear Dad, I laugh when I think about you chasing the doberman around Audre’s house with a 2x4 in Bend, Oregon. USER TO SUPPLY LOCK. Prisoner to supply shackles. So I make my way down the stairs and out the university because hope is just a four-letter word for naiveté. I walk back to the 116th St subway station and swipe my $10 Metrocard in the turnstile. Look! There is the makeshift stage we just came from. The Jewish boy and the black girl are still catching bodies coming thru the rye. And there is the human beatbox – PUH-PUH-PUH-PUH-PUH-PUH, BOOM BOOM, FREAKY FREAKY. The hair and cheese party. “All right!” he yelled. “Harold and the Purple Crayon. Classic. Tanks Sis.” Enough! What am I talking about? I am entirely minimum wage. The ocean tides wet my dog leash long esophagus. “You got crickets’ wings for a kazoo.” People ‘leak’. On the 10th anniversary of the Baghdad invasion by American troops, a series of car and suicide bombings led to at least 60 deaths. What can I do, I have dreamed of you so much. What can I do, now that I have spent my life studying the physics of the relapse. What can I do, I who never invented anything. Insomnia and weird serial dreams. Lately about moving through a post-flood landscape in which usually dead salmon fall from trees. When he’s unsure if they’re dead or not Dream Tom examines them. The nose & mouth of Akhenaten opened this week. I photocopy it on the only machine that still takes cash & leave. “But you, you don’t want to hear that part, you just want me to keep having sex among the politics. Fuck you; Ben Shaoul, the owner of Magnum Real Estate Group, who’s already evicted low-income nursing home patients, is now trying to evict Taylor Mead.” Incurably insomniac, Anton Vowl turns on a light. According to his watch it’s only 12.20. With a loud and langorous sigh Vowl sits up, stuffs a pillow at his back, draws his quilt up to his chin, picks up his whodunit and idly scans a paragraph or two; but, judging its plot impossibly difficult to follow in his condition, its vocabulary too whimsically multisyllabic for comfort, hurls it from him in disgust. Padding into his bathroom, Vowl dabs at his brow and throat with a damp cloth. It’s a soft, warm night and his blood is racing through his body. An indistinct murmur wafts up to his third-floor flat. Far away, a church clock starts chiming — a chiming as mournful as a last post, as an air raid alarm, as an SOS signal from a sinking ship. And, in his own vicinity, a faint lapping sound informs him that a small craft is at that instant navigating a narrow canal. Crawling across his windowsill is a tiny animal, indigo and saffron in colour, not a cockroach, not a blowfly, but a kind of wasp, laboriously dragging a sugar crumb along with it. Hoping to crush it with a casual blow, Vowl lifts up his right hand; but it abruptly flaps its wings, flying off without giving it assailant an opportunity to do it any harm.
[Note: Sources: Gwido Zlatkes, email, rec’d 25 Mar 013 approx 12:06 AM PDT; Luke Roberts, “Sunroof”, in False Flags; Maged Zaher, The Revolution Happened and You Didn’t Call Me; Bill Luoma, Dear Dad; Kaia Sand, “1. Remember to Wave: a poetry walk”, in Remember to Wave; Gizelle Gajelonia, “The Thesis”, in Thirteen Ways of Looking at The Bus; Steve Carll, “Hamburger Helper”, in Hamburger; Lisa Linn Kanae, Sista Tongue; Sandra Simonds, “The America You Learn From (A Poem For Grocery Workers)”, in Warsaw Bikini; Geof Huth, FB post, 25 Mar 013 (“meaning: to use or have an astoundingly strange or inutile object or message to replace a reasonably useless object or conduct a reasonably useless activity”); Guy Taylor, FB comment, 25 Mar 013; Rick Paulas, “Young People Still Suck”, at Vice, 25 Mar 013; John Yau, “Borrowed Love Poems”, at Boston Review; Tom Beckett, “This morning I awoke …”, at l’amour fou, 25 Mar 013; Mark Young, “Lunch in Glebe”, at Jacket 16; Ana Božičević, “The Day Lady Gaga Died”, “Controlling the Weather”, “The Mystery of Seagulls”, as quoted in Carrie Lorig, “Rise in the Fall by Ana Božičević”, at HTMLGIANT, 25 Mar 013; “Beat generation poet who starred in Andy Warhol films is fighting to keep his $360 a month apartment after developer buys his building for $16.5M”, at Daily Mail Online, 24 Mar 013; Georges Perec, A Void (tr. Gilbert Adair)]