- Sampled Biography, and: Wheels of Steel, and: Seven Days of Falling, and: Winter / Weird Fishes
In the picture, they rub togethertimpanically, hodgepodgeof too-high tube socks and too-bigteeth going all directions.Like magnolia petals if you'venever seen the flower.
Piney enough, sure.Tall enough, sure,but not so tall as to foresee
misnomer in Southern Belleor that what we can really seeof the South will have to do.
Your nanny is broke down in the picture,but the stories speak of a differentwoman—mean mother of a drunk,
drunk mother who meansto show you all the thingsyou shouldn't know, Georgia peach. [End Page 15]
Potentate of firsthand smoke:gruff when riled, grufferwhen content. All the thingsa voice should be, pranks and morepranks, diction and some moreof that imposed stuff—Pinyin of the South.
Another unfinished afternoon:time's ribcage gummedwith cobbler and hypnosis.
What I Love
The inertia I can't see, but was told is.Annotation of morning's vertigo, point Aand point B and the hair it leaves.If momentum can be rephrased, light thereis light wherever, pinioned on the gravityof your question-mark eyes.
Woman, I've got the blues, like an uglyof cat-gut and malt liquor.Maybe uglier. Woman,all the roughage in the world won'tset things straight: no jailhouse blues,no frozen dinners clockworked on the table.Sovereignty co-opted from your homeplace,just you and the words I love. [End Page 16]
Wheels of Steel
I got me two songs insteadof eyes—all swollen and blacked
out like the day after a lost fight.Two jigsaws spinning, buzzing
the backdrop for woodshopor emcee, bar mitzvah or afterset.
It's Run DMC rocking withouta band, but not without me.
Two rims spinning after the carstops. Baby, I'm the little lenses
in the bifocals if they were on pulleys.I'm the Wizard of Oz if Oz
was a fish fry in July. Call meMaster of the Cracked Fingers.
One song spins forward, the otherback to repeat itself: Every day
I'm hustlin'. Every day I'm hustlin'.Baby, I'm the layaway payment
on a Ferris wheel. My songs orbitparking lots and rent parties
like the crazy lady's eyeswhen she finds out her lover man
already left. One of my songsspins backward, while the other [End Page 17]
plays forward like sugar mixingin to make the grape. My songs
are the pinwheels for this paradeof moonwalks and uprocks.
Seven Days of Falling
Today, I'm assimilating like margarineinto hotcakes. I'm getting down
like Danny Larusso after the against-the-rulesleg sweep. So low, I'll be a flower
in the lapel of common decency.Factual, the same way "Zanzibar" means
sea of blacks to anyone who isn't fromthere. Where is Juan Valdez,
his burroesque dependability whenyou need him? I had a friend who minted
tee shirts with Juan front and center,an afro instead of a sombrero, a power
fist in place of a smile. The inscription:100% Columbian. I'm going the way
of skin—radio waves, thoughtslike ear-to-ear transmissions grounded [End Page 18]
into the ozone on the way from mindlessspace to forgetful Earth. Man, my skin
doesn't need me any more than moldneeds cheese. On this day of cellophane
lunchboxes and hand grenades reshapingmy palms into their own militaristic orbit,
there are only oceans to catch me.On this day, something needs
to catalogue me: a hall monitordoubled wide by ambition,
a goldfish with thumbs hitchhikingtoward a fishbowl full of dub.
Winter / Weird Fishes
Every morning, you loiterlike a middle-aged sugar mamaonce the sun's up, hopingto be more than a meal ticket.You are a skeleton, wishingfor the plaster attentionof being broken. Winter,this is your intervention.The kind of stopgapwhere the breakers break...