Not Like Itself

A Thing is not
LIKE itself,
it IS itself,
but not
LIKE itself,
one cannot be
LIKE what one IS.

 

(maybe I only

wrote like  I

was writing a poem)

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The Sonnets of Pork and Cheese

Mrs. Browning

 

my first love, as a poet, at least

a small bookstore editon

with black-shaped block-printed images

a gift to my teenaged self

from a now dead mother

who neither knew or understood

but only feared my words

Elizabeth charmed me

and made me dream of being

being a poet, being a romantic

but most of all,

she made me dream:

of simply being,

as she had been.

 

 

There Must Be Two

 

If they are to be called The Sonnets

and what of the pork, not pig

and cheese, a derivative of

barbarism yet the height

of both the culture of milk

and the culture of food?

My-Dearest-Elizabeth I fear

you would not find me

to be the kind of poet

who compared your eyes to roses

your mouth to the ocean

your hair to the golden clouds

I write of pork and cheese

And trucks and tomatoes

 

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If I Shopped

 

 

Today

for hair color

and silencers

both in gun

metal brown

 

Would that

disguise me

In the rusty

urban air

or only

make me

smell of grease?

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Hair Salon of Death

Drove past the hair salon,

one of the last places

had my life was threatened

 

on my way to an inspection:

old widower 1990s boom box

on counter by sink for company,

outside I start to unscrew

the spark guard on

electric panel box

the moment before

I put the screwdriver to the box

I always think:

could be last moment of my life.

 

The Tri-Rail blows the crossing

fifty feet away.

I put the cover back on,

neighbor starts a chainsaw.

 

The train takes me to my youngest son

when we shared a love of trains

chainsaw brings back father, dead

a year ago, tomorrow,

 

when I was 11 or so,

he pulled me out of school

to sit in his truck

way out in the country

topping pecan trees

with a chainsaw.

 

My job to drive the truck

to the

nearest farm for help

if dad hurt himself bad.

Drove past the hair salon,

one of the last places

had my life threatened
on my way to inspection:

old widower 1990s boom box

on counter by sink for company,

outside I start to unscrew

the spark guard on

electric panel box

the moment before

I put the screwdriver to the box

I always think:

could be last moment of my life.

 

The Tri-Rail blows the crossing

fifty feet away.

I put the cover back on,

neighbor starts chainsaw.
Train takes me to my youngest son

when we shared a love of trains

chainsaw brings father dead

a year ago, tomorrow,

when I was 11 or so,

he pulled me out of school

to sit in his truck

way out in the country

top working pecan trees

with a chainsaw.

 

My job to drive the truck

to nearest farm for help

if dad hurt himself bad.

He never did

I never drove, I’m glad.

 

Screw the cover on panel

leave the old man

and drive across the tracks,

no train coming.

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Hierarchy of “Darkie”-ness of Dreams 

dream small

little brown person

 

Unless you can run

fast or jump high

 

please only dream

to stay in your little mud pathed village

or to clean the toilet

to pick the tomatoes

for Americans and Europeans

 

you are not a white person

you do not get

white person dreams

 

 

stay in Africa

die in slavery

these are the dreams for you.

 

dream small

little brown person

 

yours is not expensive preschool,

best primary and secondary school

you have no right to hope

to graduate from University

and make a real difference

your job is to be a small round hole,

for a small round brown person,

like you,

to be refilled when you die

and can be replaced with another

person of very small dreams.

 

If you can’t accept this

the world, especially the white world,

the powerful world,

the world in control of

everything,

cannot accept you.

 

dream small

my little brown friend

 

tell your child to dream small

your small round brown child

 

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the 5

the 5

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117B or Green Bullets

Green bullets, black hair

It’s about race and the environment

killing, saving the earth, at once, we-killed-all-the-humans-would-it-save-the-earth?

Who would we be saving it for? Would not 7 billion rotting bodies create a carbon bubble?

 

What are my devices, my strategies?

 

The perfect

Word

Goes under

HERE.

 

I used to drive a truck

lots of trucks

my favorites always diesel

smell at the pumps cold morning,

the lovely putter,

massive yet stuttering at idle.

 

What does it all mean?

 

I will ask Al,

He will have a careful answer

I have none.

 

If I recycle the cartridge

am I reusing the container?

 

The questions

will outlive me.

 

What will I outlive,

is that the point?

Hard plastic tip

Is that the point?

 

HERE.

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