Poem #69

Topos: this street is an uneven number
and intersects with letter A

Ah Poverties, Wincings, and Sulky Retreats…

from Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman

Wheels sighing spiral for different streets.
It keeps away the quiet, silence, or peace.
I cannot resolve the many peopled things
they desire after hours to long after,

whether they long after a home,
whether they long after a purchase of want,
whether they long after any sort of need,
whether they long in a descent,
whether they long in upstanding

an enlongation or any stretch of a miserable moral,

in the night time of the day I hear traffic let its incessant sigh,
in the night time of the day I hear the echo of machines

propelling diverse things
through space and time,

a chill for items refrigeratable,
a drink for a vehicle,
an alternative, to keep up all which is electrical.

Where did the mating call
of crickets go?

And crazed in a cuckoo I cackle my quandary into tar of cities, into concrete,
I cackle my quandary into the full pale, portrait of the moon,

Where did they go?
Where do the crickets go?

Topos: this street is an uneven number,
and intersects with the letter A.

And in the Antipodes of virtue
a gun is a lumberjack splitting timber in two,

timber of a different fiber than wood,
timber which lets different limbs fall than twigs,
timber which makes a house stand good.

We cowardly criminals,
We out of curiosity of what crime we commit,
huddle on the cold wood floor,
fearful of our silent sentinels
who would wake us from our shambles
of shelter and of sleep,

our gang policing the poor
our goodly gang, gladly, going door to door
greeting Leviathan with a needle
when he arrives on the shore.

And at a police precinct table
homicides yearly total rises more.

 

2 October 2012
revised, 21 October 2016

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