clark kentSilver eyeshadow and a blush; smack lipsclark kent by zebrazebrazebra
and sway hips. The nail file's on overtime
and the glitter's out sick. Snap bra strap,
winking at the mirror; stars could get lost
in this cleavage, and these cups could be
flowerpots for a healthy crop of petunias
or baskets for hot air balloons, if I chose.
Tonight I'm juxtaposing crepe with Lycra;
all those stubborn parts sedated, yielding
like cats before the leap. Skirt the colour
and size of a blackbird's wing and knickers
tight enough to make me sing. Peep show
smile; big hairstyle. Just the faintest smell
of wine. And I close the phone booth door
without a single sound:
tonight I don't fear Kryptonite.
I'm going on the town.
midnight, minus threewinter comes to beijing like an old coat,midnight, minus three by zebrazebrazebra
or perhaps a threadbare tide;
not a hurried cold--no, not yet so old
as an angry man--but careful, slow,
and weaving herself from wind after wind,
snow after snow--
like a shroud for a warm corpse
laying itself out on the street
at last to rest,
then, tugging like a baby at her own sleeve
she sees to them, the hot potato women,
the quiet men crying corn,
to the dusty coats and supplications,
and the sparrows blown like buttons
in a storm.
the hanged manThis little red book you call the human body:the hanged man by zebrazebrazebra
take it up and shake it. Shake the flaking pages
out of it, shake it from endpaper to endpaper
until the last of the phrases are gone; shake it
until it's aching and empty, the soul of a bird.
I will give you new words.
dear teen meDear Sarah,dear teen me by zebrazebrazebra
Remember that time you tried to top yourself by hiding under the covers? That was hilarious. I remember you tugging at the edges of the blanket and praying, without a shred of scientific evidence, that the lack of oxygen would be enough to kill you. You sat under there for something like fifteen minutes before you gave up and went to make a sandwich. But while you were under there, choking a little on your pillow because you never washed your sheets, I remember you thought someone was watching. Someone who understood your suffering. Someone who understood you.
Kid, that was me. And I've got two words for you: man up. Life can get a whole lot harder than this. Before too much longer, it's going to. And by the time you get to my age, you're going to be glad.
Why were you
When my cat stares at meHe knows somethingWhen my cat stares at me by antonfrost
it's as if he were there
for the building of the pyramids,
as if he lived through
I stare back
and wonder how long
the zoo animals
watch each other
through the bars
He stares at me
through an elaborate diamond
I scratch his ear
to break the spell,
I pet him skull to spine,
quickly, the way a busboy
might smooth a tablecloth
or brush crumbs off a chair
at the end of his shift.
It doesn't work,
he keeps his eyes fixed on me
until I feel detached
from my body,
as a block of wood,
waiting patiently for him
to clear the room
so I can burst
I throw a coin
across the floor,
I knock on the wall
and yell WHO'S THERE?
His ears swivel
and his tail smacks the couch
but he won't look away.
Without taking my eyes off his
I scribble my finger
into the dust on the endtable--
I doodle an accidental
into a a hi
that river, that seaall the worldthat river, that sea by silvernium
starts to run out
to that river
you know the one
to the sea
and it no longer
worries me to
see that sea
the river and
and perhaps hope
your flow is
a slow progression
it is just
and just a sea
The Plight of the Gentilea hundred thousand capybara came outThe Plight of the Gentile by tiganusi
of a manhole on third avenue by the river
walked up third
and over to Bronx Zoo
to liberate their cousins
and back down third down past the Bowery Ballroom
and the skeleton of CBGB
and onto the Brooklyn Bridge
I should have known:
something was coming ;
the Haredim in Williamsburg were off the streets
at business-open on a Thursday ;
I assumed it was Saturday ;
I left the house to empty streets—assumed I was hung-over ;
I hadn't slept off Friday ;
I hallucinated a guinea pig the size of a Fiat
eating my neighbour's garbage bags
and his two square feet of yard
a casual lover fucked me that night
with loud victorious abandon ;
we were dancing a lemonjuice capoeira
all kicks and burning abrasions ;
we were a jaguar and an anaconda
debating dinner plans in snaps and jumps ;
the capybaras took Prospect Park Zoo that night
liberating their ance
untitledall these booksuntitled by boundlessgravity
I brought to read
in a pile
beside your hair
Cricket PhilosophersI wonder if crickets chirpCricket Philosophers by zippip
to bring out the stars
or count them as they appear.
Or are they yelling for a breeze
like churlish old men
yelling for the AC to be turned on,
or perhaps they're arguing cricket politics
in a town hall of tall grass walls.
But I really like to think
they're a thousand poet philosophers
who only live for seven months
and spend their brief time
trying to explain it.
Tessa.We laid you in the earth
as the day reached its close.
The afternoon's thunderstorms
passed to the east and in the west
the sun burned brilliant,
its diurnal death a ruddy kiss
upon our swollen cheeks.
That morning you looked at me
from the backseat and suddenly
you knew what we meant by
"it's time." And you let go so quick,
so quiet – your tail thumped, thumped
against the clinic floor, then stopped;
your face was a calm, golden yellow.
The tears did not come then
in the office, transactional and sterile,
but as my bare feet picked up the rain
lingering upon the backyard grass –
here where you scouted out smells
and followed us children about,
nosing our pockets for something tasty.
Tonight, the hollyhocks are in bloom
beside the old oak tree in whose
shade you curled up, contented
as you aged to simply watch over us
and paw at the occasional acorn.
You never asked for much – a little lov
The DetailsHer hair:
cropped short and brilliantly fair everywhere
but the roots. There, fragments of dull dilute her,
whiskey thinned by water.
lack the sheen of new and the wear of old,
that in between that makes her blend, that make her
indistinguishable unless properly apprehended.
Left-right, left-right, left-right, left behind
her group that rushes out, drunk on undefined
fates and the sort of drinks that make you forget that this is not
the sedate part of town.
And he wonders what it is like
just to breathe.
To dream of a zebra denotes that you will be interested in varying and fleeting enterprises. To see one wild in his native country foretells that you will pursue a chimerical fancy which will return you unsatisfactory pleasure upon possession.