Friday, July 20, 2007


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When I was eighteen I delivered furniture in a large

White truck, some surplice device

Of a WW II engine, outfitted, from mercy, with an

Electronic lift gate that I imagined

Could sever my toes right off, pop, pop, pop. And

That’s what I called the old guy I helped

Tote Frigidaires up into the recess of Military housing,

Pop, because he smoked Ole Grandad

Pipe tobaccy, and spat black wads of lung juice,

Lung Cookies as we called em. Ol’ Pop

Scuttled to and fro, his pipe hanging from the back

Pocket of his jeans like a lever

I’m phasic, one moon looking on underwater. Later,

the lights of the pool smiling up make me long

For the smell of lighter fluid which itself dreams

Of burning to life from some dark garage of

My childhood. Like Freddy Kruger my kid fears pop up

Like tube worms from the sea floor,

That is, like fingers who live inside the glove, eponymous,

Poking out to nibble-nibble on pieces

Of my darkness. And like the Anteater, Pop used to poke

His tongue out and lick around his mouth

When he was talking, just that tongue, prehensile exclamation

To conversations, going in, coming out,

I hear the words Step it up you rotten… lick out at me, I’m

At the pool, swimming in a dream, in the dark

The pool light comes on and in the dark it’s old Pop’s tongue

Come to clean the bees and ants crawling

On my towel. In my dream, I’m working. Lifting a Couch

Around a corner in a stairwell and my finger

Gets caught and, from the knuckle on my pointer, first

The skin and then the bones and then

Everything popping out and back

Darkness like a worm,

Weight like furniture, Sweat like hog in a dream

Working like a hog in a dream.


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