Monday, April 29, 2013

Four Lost Poems Of Grace Paley

Pigeons From Hell

take a crack at thrashed stomp-outs
it carries distaste
it smacks of guano shovel-scraped off sidewalk
the power lines hold out for thicker laces
tied or shut in
we’d pull the curtains blacker
if it’d matter
and to any swell or bellyached mewl
in the tatters of extricated hours
to tope in the a.m. of generality
and it’s whistled less at most
color me night
grayed with invasive adjustments
more to clack or clunk over
until the eaves drip liquid gold
or the cotton queen lips her final chalice of rain
you will not shiver
or spare even a prayer for her sake
lower than down
far and crawling in collusion’s circles
before you can quite recall
what it means to not take to the air

I Was Only Middle-Aged

there’s refusing in it to ward off thoughtlessness of death
a clung-to world’s hold
beyond sway or smote or just
delivery smothered to takeout
dedicated to fake estates or parking-garage construction
lots of lots
evicted to empty and worse
like jagged scarred rocks ensconced in mossy dresses
isolation as rough as sooty skin
to bring a more grey-tinged misery
an ounce of cod liver oil
god-thanking in a turkey-feather headdress 
about or for me
the imminence of immanent jail bars
what will live or sigh darling to walk nicely with what will not be
laughed to cough to snarl backwards
my mother in the doorway
bowlegged and old and lovely
capitalism’s fermented compost pungent from smaller rooms
and her too with her 
less frequent worried preparations
made guessed of it all
of all longing
marigold-weather chairs
the anatomy of shadows
speaking music pitched to bleaker shadows
to yet another shadow’s historic sorrow
oppose and in favor of it all
of all pleasing and enemy-making
of all store-bought silence
the chutzpah it takes to not be vengeful
but instead to punch with calm
scream with quiet
and shoot with forgiveness
we are all better on than off
and in our resilient fragility
flowers the best mistakes
and perhaps nobody left to wonder
who left this shape in the hallway
or made these frail stalwart scratches 
in thin slices of papery oblivion

Another Futile Attempt At Art For Life’s Sake

there (if) “Coffee’s hot!” you’d say…beleaguered,
and here, now, life’s art imitating art’s life---of course.
when (then)
if you have it (humming along)
or crack the best closing:
“This,” up, “will,” to stand, “not,” or sit if lying down, “do!”
a dream’s virus dreamt to spread
(…and, at last, first, knowingly)
took down or given up, on or
off (too)
we pad cellars with the bodies of dead moths--
“Colder,” you’d not say.
Wherever whenever gets you to. It’s
chillier still.
Jesus and Maria, boys.
No expert forklift operators allowed on the premises,
(dig deeper ditches, then)
Take after the (not so) greats, if
can, because the board is never
low enough

#7 With Valor

the beings who jar us at every moment

moods of gusts blown brain-dead just lost like lips kiss-less must’ve been another goner gone foul

I was living so lucky in luck’s dead arms
I was holding back what flooded

stepped cloudy beneath the flames
usurious but screwed over too
not famous at all
screamed from closed windows
my name’s a rill cut in air
to not hear

for the time it takes for the time to pass

yes yes yes yes

it is every For who’s slept with a Done

a change that nothing is changing for
always clearer if
or of

sometimes I love the smell of cooked asphalt too
something Bronxy and rich in it
mothered telling of mothering sentiments of nowhere  
spied on a heap of what’s spaced out and capitally locked

we are within the arcade’s humming until the power’s off kilter and ratio-inspired for us who hunt doves with chaperoned lust and kill sunnier skies with tridents of ice 

until long walked
farther juts in the out of it
consumed by oneself
as if the boat’s cruel color were enough
to be waded out towards
or from

by always prancing back
in a lulled-like way
of a start to stop to be put back to bed

later than lunch-counter sadness
would tell of still births in the wee hours
to empty cups and used napkins
and everything dim and rank
sugar and salt and pepper riddled
and stained sub par
per orders from up top

as it were
just me and my newspaper-covered pride
Pavlovian as hell in my love
and not used to anything
at all