New poems, real names, same ole same ole:
For If You Burn Carol's Phone Number
God, Keighley, we were not a city
of giant things: weeds and words
for sleet from a Russian immigrant.
He evacuated a smirched shantytown
for your couch. He called Carol
a girl who sound like horse.
Not horse, dude: just Caterpillar boots
nailed like pelts to the sweep of
matching chimneys in a mute mining town,
to wet porches and beer bongs and summer
plans of sinking knuckles beneath lashes.
This other girl is off for Africa,
but she keeps whomping my shoulders,
like you don't understand, you don't --
what about hairdryers? Who knows, eat
these Mini-Wheats, you're way gone,
you're way gone-- but none of us are way
gone, Keighley. I mean: why did we
let Carol down a fishtank full of rum?
I mean: I was stupid when I saw her
smack the cop car, Indian-sprawled
in a rain ditch, mascara flakes
dusting her crooked belt buckle.
I was stupid when I saw her and thought
hooray for pear and gorgonzola pizza
in my New York City summer! Fuck everyone!
You sound like horse like horse like horse!
Think now of how the tossed off lap
the swamp. They swim and make the rain
that makes us glad when sun busts
back to squish our guilt, thank God.
Keighley, hose her down and buy her
a clipper ship? You won't. We were
a city of singed faceplants, and
we left no lasting grace, only
its opposite -- riddens -- that
brands the broken like a long noon.