Saturday, February 25, 2012

here I go brother looking for shadows good morning brother night
my companion I am dead like my mother I hold my hands over the fire
like the lightning that struck her
I walk through the breeze I am the falcon my dreams the falconer
the jaegers will have to take it from me I intend
to put up a good fight
I remember those guitars under your arms still
this jack tar makes a little headway
in to the past with all its spiders touting hour glasses
where I cut my feet on the crystals that have sprung loose
where some negro burns a leech off my shin with a Lucky Strike cigarette
where we go hunting the bulls in britches spun out of mud like gods with tridents
and split tongued creatures knock their brains out going for the gorget
those fables in the photograph like heirlooms put away in brandy
where I see the lieutenants entering the room in maroon
and lifting the slips off of the women with rapiers
so be it
the dream for all its splendor was run over in the middle of the road
while it was licking itself and we will all go south from the Susquehanna
with my chaplet of ashes and ice I swagger through valleys with a black sash alone
and I see the maidens with the backs of their hands over their eyes
listen to them trill on the S that means sad
and see the teachers in the halls asking for excuses in plain daylight
and go to the school at night and see them taking the pups away
the unweened ones with their eyes still shut see them load them in their sacks
watch the water level carefully where the teachers have all joined hands
do you see that concertina below their feet
do you see how afraid they are the water wheel might come loose
do you see them passing their whispers along in the night like a dead man's wind
do you seem them joined to their lies like cancer
do you seem them joined to their word like an insurance salesman
look at the cankers that signify the name of the club on their belts and lapels
when you enter the city limits the road signs announce the time and place
where the diseases are having their noon day dinners
look at them talking like they don't  want to go home watch them go home
watch them accuse the niggers of backsliding
see them grading the paper with a scalpel like a piece of butchers's ice
am I wrong to say there is no place for the parabola or the shipmate in their
shingles of nerves and skin infections
I can see all this out the lunchroom window at school and I throw up my dinner
someone slips me a note saying  I was betrayed by a rat I see the teachers
assembled like an erector set and one of them  is looking over at me what the hell
this place is a port of  lies and a sewer of words it is a harbour I must never
allow myself to enter again for the rows of desks are like a regatta of coffins
my teacher has a tongue like a cow it will reach all the way up in her nose
she is saying attention the president will speak they turn on the T.V. up on
the pall the stage it shows a picture of the flag being raised and when it is
tied in place a buzzard sits on the pole speak president cave in my ears
while I am dreaming of submarines
and  a rooster on a ladder floating down a canal

frank stanford 1971

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