Monday, February 2, 2009

part one of new poem

it's newish, but i just cut it in half and might do a few that relate to this, kind of.

With Women Fainting in Spain (I)

bald on top, ponytails dreadlocking
into single entities, this guy carries a land-line
telephone receiver on a train platform,
his hand barely emerging from his army
issue jacket, as though his hands were portable
telephones, as though he received a phone call
so saturated he couldn’t let go, as though the recruiter
held him for years, years that submerged from view
like the fish in the Gulf that took my pole,
he’s staring sideways – watching his reflection
in the graying white tiles, with muddy
footprints caked to the walls, days old –
his reflection in that dirt little more than shadowless form –
while he practices startling kung-fu,
phone hands, or
what you imagine kung-fu
to be, if you, like me, aren’t sure what separates
from karate,
from jujitsu,
though I know samurais
and the Tokugawa-era unification of Japan,
I’ve practiced miming Miyamoto Musashi
with less physical clarity, dandruff
showering concrete dust below the dresser,
cat sleeping pressed against the mirror, less impressed
than my mother

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