Monday, September 28, 2015

Barnaul #2

The bus is shaking, knocking its passengers around;
it stops- Vzlyotnaya, Svyetochnaya,
Pavlovskii Trakt,
and if you could see the original copy,
(I mean of this poem)
you could tell how distastrous it is,
writing a poem on a bus in Barnaul.
There are things you write about because someone has to write about them,
if I don't, people will forget Barnaul, or they,
heaven forbid,
might never learn what Barnaul is.
I'm moving soon; even I could forget Barnaul, I guess,
but what I'd like to remember is:
     1. The mess a bus makes of my handwriting.
     2. The fog on the windows in May (May 3rd).
     3. How the bus nearly tips over when it left-turns over the trolley tracks.
     4. Driving past the beginning of Spring in Siberia.

10 Poems, 4

What do you taste in this cake?
I didn’t cry into it.
I did dump the rest of a bottle of vanilla vodka.
I also burned (carefully) the edges of the meringue in the oven.

Does it taste like revenge?
Does it taste like angel bodies?
Does it taste like the pain of heaven?

At the Family Reunion at Zion Ponderosa

I am not afraid I will feel the metallic scrape-in-the-heart
of a coyote call at night here; I am afraid that the
untempered voices of teenagers 30 feet away will not stop
with the turning of the night; I am afraid that the sound of
a baby wailing through the canyon will hit the bell
of my heart, hard, ring out in my warbling throat.


When I was in England I was so sick I didn’t eat for a month, and then what I craved was pretzels, soft pretzels, and the only soft pretzel place was so many stops and walks away from me, and I was too tired to leave the house. One morning I woke up craving salt, craving bread, and I went downstairs and poured salt on bread, shaking off the excess in a snowy hiss on the counter. Maybe I was losing salt in tears; I wanted to lose it in blood (from screaming arms) some nights. Today I ate a whole sleeve of saltines for their salt and I don’t miss you. I feel bad for not missing you; putting the salt back into my veins makes it easier to lose in the dark.

Cleaning Out the Fridge

First off, a can of chile peppers in adobo sauce has vomited all over the second floor, its dark and clotted blood trickling down to the lower apartments, in which a bunch of wilted cilantro protests its dismay and a bag of coagulating spinach hits the ceiling with one plastic fist. In smaller containers: pungent minced garlic begins to liquefy into piss mixed with tasteless pale grains, while basil sprouts the soft gray fur of a blankfaced koala. A lemon, skinned of its zest weeks ago, feels its skin blister and tighten, its pores dry with dehydration, and passes out on the ground, buried beneath a single brown-ended celery rib, and beside a still-crisp apple, and behind a yellow pepper in the midst of a midlife crisis.