Sunday, April 19, 2009

the land of ready

I was born in the land of ready.
My father died with grey ink in his heart
holding a book called “Be Angry At The Sun.”
We wrapped the sun in lattice
and painted the door
geranium red.
Change flattened the lilacs.

Born in the land of ready and plenty,
so haven’t you heard?
Kill thy poet and vengeance is swift.
In this town the best give birth
blessed to stoke the bitter plenty.
Bobby spins his 808s
to wind Deb up for magic
and there I’ll be caught again
with cigarettes and silhouettes
keeping that shit in line,
holding pregnant light to smile
for one more run through town’s main drag,
fronting for the little magic,
with string quartets and pirouettes
hopping cold-cocked bastard motherfuckers
who stamped their feet upon
my sovereign right to anger.
And what!
I traveled space and time
to ride this Motown supernova.
It’s a chanteuse honky-tonk;
I danced in a melody made of satin
and transfigured all the tenements on my block.
Bobby spun and Debbie spun
and every year their bitter past
meets some better pavement,
and lo to all those motherfuckers
who dared tread upon it.

I was born in the land of ready,
where everywhere decent was named
after decency everywhere else;
Danny drove an old police cruiser
forty miles to the ocean,
where he blew out his brains
to Dre on cassette.
We speak of him kindly but barely speak.
John Q. Layaway. He was Army. My mother blamed
a sweet and lonesome wind.
He was not born Ready.
Abby was born ready.
But she cried and fought and finally
cussed her way to Washington,
cut by heart and better fury,
losing re-election,
fleeing by Danny-chariot
into the muddy palms of the Potomac.
And through the window,
my brother held a fist of paper flame
to his sweet and lonesome sky.

I snared the moon in a net of fingers
entombed across a dark and endless paddock.
Come see the dead,
the ditchlilies,
the ignorant rays of the sun;
this land of our fathers,
the sometimes-magnificent
blue-collar made-its with
hokeyisms fresh for all occasions.
Laugh, drink beer,
wake up for work.
you came back and asked
if I’d loved someone in this town.
The savage candor:
Jump from a bridge—
Isn’t the water, suddenly, there?