we’re in a chik-fil-a spiking the sweet tea w/ birth control.
the deep state of coming hard spreads an all caps hush of
southern hospitality. finally i get it. we can barely contain
ourselves. hell dies, who wants coffee? all day the drip in
my step elects the ground i walk on—a joke you can bite
like a peach. see the coins we trust in—those are gods
passed out on the bathroom floor.
we’re in a greyhound station in baltimore w/ an hour to kill,
staring at the tv. cnn’s in love w/ the bombing of the boston
marathon, and cnn’s in love w/ 165,000 new jobs, 165,000
new jobs, 165,000 new jobs. they zoom into their analyst who’s
been staring at the mayor’s face. i can see the mayor’s tears,
he says, the mayor means it. he’ll make a wonderful ronald
reagan some day, just as the last four presidents, just as the
president today who picks up your phone—anybody there?
anybody says “my dumb life” but in the station and on the bus
nothing rings and nobody means a thing, so we’re a tribe. it’s
communism, calm as a yawn til the next city, where we’ll be
sucked out and dispersed by vacuums of identity. finally we
board. the man next to me asks if i can watch his bag. sure
why does your milkman whistle in the morning? because church
is a puddle we piss in together—no debts. no drinkus interruptus.
LA’s gone under, thank god, before new orleans. a toast to the ice
on our tail—chase it til hard work melts the carousel of progress
and we’ll swap spits like grandparents atop new year, stop being
the thing we were thought into. 11:59 pops into 12:00, looks fake
but isn’t. as if you were ever a citizen of anything. be proud of
your friends and the luck between you—call it a country, even, til
you gag on it—because you are a fool, and fools go on.
we’re in jingo retard heaven, and you are a cloud, so get in
the car. there is no “becoming.” the poets, handcuffed, police
each other’s authenticity. their world shrinks to a nugget.
bukowski’s tombstone: don’t try. nickels and dimes, the wheels
on the bus, which is us. a halfslave spins off, never just half—
“who you are”—the sources hurt, how the irony fails. if a word’s
a flag just stick it in the ground, walk out the cemetery. don’t
stick it on your car. your car will be towed. it will be towed by
a christian single. what is a christian single?
we’re on record, skipping around in the washington post amazon
buys. the store greeter hawks a poetics. i get her number. what is
love, she says. the answer: heavy possibility, the sag of the feeling
of a time you miss, the balls full of cum—the the-the-the, that’s all.
in other words, monopoly. the year we did not see each other’s
faces. in other words, wrong question. that shit is adjunct, hole of
the essential. like a septa we sunk our life into. that tease of the
page-to-page life. listen, where we left off i was saying don’t play
basketball when i’m talking about heraclitus. but you play basketball.
and i talk about heraclitus. we dribble in the same river twice. the
river is broke and the blackbird is flying. the adjunct, my friend, is
blowing in the wind.
we’re in the steamfitters hall peeling walmart stickers off hundreds
of copies of the mark of athena. athena will be free, and kids will love
her, and kids will leave her for the sea of monsters, and the sea of
monsters 2. you can’t get away from blue, a little girl tells me. then
here we are—blue—blue rolls the street thru as each april will. to
mess you up a little. a little april pointed at the wrong people. over
production. over the rainbow, the luxury of committing to nothing.
blue peels off. liberty motel, liberty gas. liberty thru and thru.
we’re a hammer in the radiator, naming every instant of collective
joy—in person, in person, to make the platform each nothing and
pulsing, a sea of exes on a ship of toothpicks so the music’s a question
to match all the preaching. passenger pigeon to joe jerkoff: can we
just be people. then a quick row of faces—nope, nope, nope, nope
it’s just fall, a hole in the iris like a ten-cent cloud of witness, and what
evidence. transpass, leaf under shoe, wawa gift card, a “moderate”
who tells us to “keep working on that message.” let’s dump out his
coffee! dump that motherfucker already—yes him to death, yes him
RYAN ECKES lives in South Philadelphia. He's the author of Valu-Plus (Furniture Press, 2014), Old News (Furniture Press, 2011) and other books. Recent poetry can be read in Sugar Mule, The Rumpus, OnandOnScreen, Tripwire, Trinity Review, Apiary, COYDUP, The Philadelphia City Paper and on his blog: http://ryaneckes.blogspot.com