for John Naglick

 

 

What is it to have time—

to think about the things that bother you?

inaugural as noun, the quality of orange juice

the white things you shame yourself of

O beauteous gyre of flotsam!

Lo this graveyard of Styrofoam!

 

I get drunk night after night & cross out the stars

& you know this. This flesh fetid, our fathers orgulous

an image of smoke-filled firmament or fallow earth

or some plash of commentary on justice

or something within your ken—

that which burnishes, brandishes

then dissolves

 

I had a dream where I couldn’t see my father’s face

& I ran after him & what does that mean?

what does it mean to stand in the lobby under

lolling pendalogue, blood seeping through your teeth?

what does it mean to be bathed in the politics of opinion

to be pinioned by convention & circumstance

to ask of yourself what is required to be human

& not to wait for an answer?

 

I’ve been offered apologia & notional morality

the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing

or vice versa or six of one, half dozen of the other

or pendulum or hourglass or something about a

broken clock. Choose your metaphor, tools.

The song continues, this soughing for

self loudens, dogwhistles, fulgurates

into night again

 

So what if I get drunk on mignonette while we make loin

chuck & rib? wondering aloud about the differences

between tumid & turgid, caporali & guillemets

how we might become a small fire when we die

or a star, or nothing at all. I still dream of being

ecru or taupe, poly or paramour or more

than rooked millennial—armed with awl

 

 

All this and you still don’t know what I mean. I was trying to say something

about the master’s tools, something about being more than my father’s skin—a

spectacle of difference. I wanted to say that anger comes from pain, that forgiveness

is just a way to be hurt endlessly. Say: humans are the only animals that kill at a distance.

I want to be more than language, more than languid, more than stanzaed, left-justified. I want

normalcy to be OK      to be like John, to be on the ⓃⓇⓌ—gringolandia bound, when singing

 

Languid is a good word, like when singing
"Languidly her arm floated
out of the backseat of the station wagon
releasing small bits of paper
into the summer air."

 


DAVID VILLAVERDE has recently been published in Wigleaf, 100 Word Short Story, Adbusters, After the Pause, Cheap Pop, and Hoot. He lives in Pittsburgh as an editor for the After Happy Hour Review. He can be found at schadenfreudeanslip.com