Tuesday, September 14, 2010



When your genius had grown tiresome to everyone,
and the profligate owners of many karaoke bars

had agreed to never readmit you, not again
after that last time and all the phlegmatic pleading

and bedraggled supplication, you had to go
down to the gushing artery of the interstate

and think of rivers. In your hands you held
a wheel of cheese you bought at a mall

and while the passing cars began to glow in the dark
and their horns sang intermittent rage,

you wished to be more intensely American.
In motion, slamming into the febrile horizon.

While the night just happened, no warning, no nothing,
you tried to eat, to not be hungry,

to be aware of many other things.
It was the kind of holiday no one despises.

People warred about snow and where coffee comes from.
A pigeon hopped past, unable to fly:

one leg dragged on the ground,
mangled, unexplained. You knew it would die.


davanna said...

Whoa. There I went with that home-goer. That poem is a perfect evocation of a drive home. And thoughts/states of mind therein. I hope that's what you meant it to be.

The part about the pigeon reminded me of a bedraggled squirrel I saw today on my walk. His coat was all messed up. And he -- what do squirrels do?-- they sort of hop/scamper. I don't know if you can scamper slowly but he did. He must've been sick. Or had been attacked. I really was concerned for him. Almost like he had been human.

Thanks for your poem.

MissDani said...

Woaah. Gonna have to bust out the dictionary for this one. But I like your style.
I'm intrigued. And consequently, I believe I shall attend your Shindig at UA's Ferguson Center.

Keep on keepin' on!


Fred Miller said...

This is a living thing bearing many kinds of fruit.

I know it will not die.

Matthew said...

great poem. the couplets really add to the meditative feel. Get this one in the mail first flight.

Marcia said...

so many images in contradiction.
bored and pleading, gushing artery and river. What is america?
a fevered horizon, a river,
a wounded urban scavenger bird..vulnerable vermin harmed beyond repair.

it makes me wonder.
it makes me sad.

Paul said...

Thanks, Davanna!

Paul said...

Hope to see you in Tuscaloosa, Dani.

Paul said...

Thanks, Fred - I appreciate it, man.

soft grass said...

If we sing, and we do,
the stars sing among us.
In the individual folds between cells,
in the endometrium and synaptic arms
that reach into our sadness to divert tears.
We’ll never know the future—
our future belongs to the Gods
and that wise rush of mystery that billows down
like the Milky Way.
If you want to sing, sing
and remember the stars within you shining
in between every broken thing,
where the light gets in

Anonymous said...

I love this poem. Thanks, Paul.


Anonymous said...

I'm currently writing a paper on your poems for class and they really move me.

They are the best things I've read in a long time.

Anonymous said...

wow. this is a great poem. Thank you for making my day worth walking through.