Sunday, April 26, 2009

New: about to drown, by JKD

After Edward Hirsch’s poem “Commuters” (in “Wild Gratitude”, Knopf, 1985) which was read aloud today on Garrison Keillor’s “The Writers’ Almanac, 26 April 2009”, & online for Prairie Home Productions on NPR via American Public Media and with the support of The Poetry Foundation.

....isn’t blue panic vague green is not me planted stepping off the train, number seven and then the A, me a number dusk thinking it isn’t just now a statistic isn’t blue with a newspaper, with a stained shirt, fat tie, too-greasy napkin crossing past that half-night worrying myself into the letters, coding me, programmable isn’t not the other elsewhere someone stiffly going along the tracks tracing newsprint me printed under his blurred blotchy one-in-a, one-of-a million arm not attached to my hands-full of groceries or should have me no did not delivery after 7 or 8 running late in the charcoal stain dry cleaner pickup, and cracked glasses to boot, on that to-do post-it list me deepening in allotted spots, dumpstersfull, a country of plastic, not me floating against it, heading out with me or that sporty sooty chivalrous “please, after you” certainly not pronounced in my voice by the parking lot, paying the ticket, stamping the yellowed corner of the wishing moment me someone elsewhere on a beach instead or a tunnelled grotto handing me off the pickaxe not with them, not a man in a car turning the engine soundlessly over in the hybrid ecological logic of watching me grind uphill in anywhere but a man looking at himself in a mirror of me from a great distance not starting a fogged-over feeling felled trees of me and of reforestation, replantings of myself as a forestfull suddenly acknowledging the denial the not-me of me with an old wave of nausea calling starboard, ahoy, as if it weren’t already obvious how out of shape, place, body I am elsewhere outside this steel box, turn up the music, ‘80s one-hit-wonders where were you when I was me then, way back then, ominously me as empty and strange drowning in the sealit aquiline air steering me home trying out the idea of me there and then there me and then there as I pass me by the red-brick houses, the white Tudors, me in the cherry-colored mansions of this next district, each one, like me, purring inside, just a little more me unlike me floating under the speed limit, risking nothing when The Economist states the stocks are falling and will continue to follow me a panic not panicky me just heading into the green vague sense of ominous misdemeanours

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