Sunday, February 05, 2006

The Obligatory Story

At nine o’clock, just as the sun was rising,
she crossed the threshold, head in her hands.
Whose head it was must remain a mystery.
The shaded garden had drawn her, like a caricature,
under the trees. Squirrels and crows screamed
at one another, limb from limb. Images
of arterial behavior were avoidable. A flag
got flat, rented a room, lived out her life
exactly as expected. What had seemed like
the lights of distant radio towers turned out
to be the inferno raging through the forest
on the other side of the mountains. Still,
the soft rock of San Diego. Three days of
rain in the discarded denouement—not everyone
can identify with that. A positivist posited;
an ironist ironed… until it adhered to the bumper.
It was certainly nine somewhere.

To tell a story would take architecture,
which means arches, laid in interlocking patterns across
or sinking into the marsh of a history.
There’s be some kind of innocence…
Anything bright enough would have been
in the past, the telephone almost a curse, partnership
a model of mines collapsing or driving shrapnel
into soon-to-be-Islamic bones unless it extends to,
or makes room for, at least the image
of limitless others. Without unanswerable questions,
the hero dies for the merely unanswered.
And that makes the sale, a telling tale
leaving radical skepticism horny
or challenging to the touch.

In the kitchen, Tex had a special agent
carve his chicken, before sending him off
to the sub-basement for a long, electric debriefing.
No-one analyzed the national transference,
gripped as we were within the newsy detail,
drowning in analogy like we liked it.
Peel away, peal away, o bells of the starry
specific locale, o decals of forgetting,
forgetting the hope left in thin deposits
beneath their shrunken flesh, their next flight
through the catacombs, the next bill,
coming due with the inevitability of hunger,
of the twitchy panther eating what it’s told.

How lovely to flee all these rooms,
to see the breeze as we hear
language, moving arms,
moving leaves.

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