And they are young Americans | the cold river blue of their eyes | will carry you a long way | clear of the city, although | the city is where you want to go | and close to the banks | in winter the water | flirts with the chastity of a newborn ice | plain and correct as coffin timber | or boiled cuffs | and with curlew isolation

Softly spoken | no expertise with big sticks | resting back, the pomp of their ’fros | spread fresh on plump pillows | and to the holes in the summer | street noise | their half sleep goes | flashing with half dreams | a distant claim of sirens | nearby pottering | of sparrows on balconies | a fascination with Astro | boy and the narrative | innovations of Jane Austen | knowing most of all | an ease with moments | is a natural gift | delicious | flexing of their still foal limbs | a treasure of indolence | thoughts dripping down smooth | like overturned spoons | letting slip of molasses | such bitter sweetness | the scooped steel goes light | as the dipped weight passes | the better to rise | but the further to fall | with work to be done | and the clock quick clicking | on fast road bike glides | late for Eng Lit classes | running the rule over 18 C masters | bringing to the future 20 C kings | and a day’s hope to the fire | of the days with no kings | riding

And in heist-land job crucial matter of time | bagging up the money Fats tapping with the 9 | Sammy outside in the ride motor always running | headed to the ice plant swapped out drives | powered in the Caddy deep into night country | bats in the beams and the moon not local | when we pissed in a line by fields of motionless maize | last to finish up took a moment to breathe | that agrochemical smell and hard dirt and dust | the churn of our engine a sound of liberty’s heaven | cool bass line of endless motion and oil | and the crickets singing | crept into a pocket inside me | and only fell out later | when I went down in the rain like a Lichtenstein blazer | gats sliding on the sidewalk in the big-bulbed lights | out front of that star-struck showtime theater | cops and Feds and molls and rats all around me | and the jingle of the shells from dry-cracking semis | like Sammy and Jimmy and Fats and Dimes | died into fame and rose double quick again | martyrs of the market and comic-book economics | mimic the saints on turning white walls | bodies broken on drug busts and slab racks | and Jesus of the rolled stones and the echoing tomb | death not where we left it | not where it should be | but in August, on civilian duty in a flyover state | maybe on a border | three weeks into another terrible drought | a lunar heat | drenches the wired farms and shadow-casting silos | and insects and abandoned people don’t sleep | but remain wakeful | restless | so deep into solitude they can’t even tell | if they’re really alive | and by heirloom lamps | pore over bibles: “You know the way to the place where I am going” | The Book of Michael Chap 7 Verse 5…

 


from the series bliss point | angels of disorder
(open-ended, 2012–present)

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