Michael Winter/ 9 Poems
4 Quarters & Sudden Death
If they threw his megaHertz ass on ice
we'd be even for all those Buffalo cold Sundays
watching him earn a million and our respect.
It was obsession enough, so much big life & thrill enough
to park my skinny butt on a Hot Seat and whoop soprano
for those Hollywood hips breaking hash marks, goal lines
records so important to the factory fans, our bus
companions, my bigoted blood world.
O Glory to the Queen City of Jokes & joyful loyalty!
Let the sweet Juice run free!
It's killing a town dead and gone and half-back
and down too long for heroes to kill and die
on the sundown freeways for overpass fans
who can't love him as we do.
They have others.
It's illegal procedure and unnecessary roughness and personal
fouls penalizing our future, benching our past redeemed.
They don't understand Out There.
There's always sun. It never snows.
The tomato eyes glowed inside the pages
like drought canyon butts just waiting
for the wind shift rush of headline panic arson and BANG!
the wild news fire took off over the tabloid ridge and everyone ran
to watch, disgusted, hoping it wouldn't burn out.
They so wanted to see destruction
a blackened body
thankful it wasn't them.
Do you prefer to see the sheet-covered dead
or the naked dying mass?
Our Lear, Macbeth, Othello.
Our black-and-blue Desdemona.
And Iago? A model-boy servant?
(Now there's reasonable doubt)
Enter the skin-crawl cops:
Haven't we seen this act before?
Hard to believe he did it.
Hard to believe he didn't.
Didn't do it?
Didn't do it.
The relationship counselor with great legs says
the suspect's friend showed his manhood
for the first time (he was in my dream):
"Friendship is to die for, we turn a blind eye.
Friendship is like love:
It is unconditional."
America the beautiful.
The Russian in my bed wants an explanation. I translate:
What's the shortest distance between two people:
Fist, blade or kiss?
The short yardage editor with the autographed
picture on his desk of the Trojan horse alum
couldn't wouldn't believe just yet, no, no, no objectivity
must hold the outrage no
he couldn't believe they removed the trophy
THE FUCKING TROPHY!
from its shrine for its own good
CAN YOU FUCKING BELIEVE IT?!
Angelino took fame home when the price of memorabilia spiked.
He wasn't taking any chances with a conversation piece & history.
Is that what it is
What it is
What it is
What is it
Torch of baby's breadth, red buds
red frames weaving through crowded
cheek curve and glance
distractions (why there)
waiting on a "paramour" lost
to voracious biology
thirty days thirty days
left with a strange boat
voice & that difficult pier before
that only western night beyond
They're plotting bookstore revolution
in the back room of hated work, scheming
escape on tour with a band, Satan in the suburbs
other stories, horrors manufactured here
an overloaded shelf of remainders
and meaning, someone else's
"serious customer service"
playing Rough Trade cuts for
"this Rastafar" & only you
could serve, not like in the maze
of words & pictures
the lousy job
you do so well
her with the musical future maybe
"but we'll probably just break even so
I'll be back
and then they'll need me even more or
Stacy's or any place will hire me."
pick up line
fuck you & the job you rode in on
In the next aisle they're escaping
in a `62 Rambler straight 6, 15 hundred bucks, a stacker
needing a tagalong w/car talk smarts
"Any Bondo? Bring a magnet"
Expose the cloak of lost control
at that uninsured moment awakened
by intersection chaos that wouldn't stop and then
in used poetry hot pins stealing all light blood balance
hearing Rimbaud breathe musty corner grad lean on
whatever surface intercom summoning who but the others
walking quiet like wise pirates searching out the infinite
rum loins and treasure of the deep around
I'm working the line of breakable
words & events moving through
the paragraph factory of two-syllable
Chevys, cheap transportation
for the mind we drive daily
always breaks down, overheats
but looks sporty, nice paint
the way we like it
goes fast passes anything
but a filling station
the way we like it
gets us where we want to go
and there you are
in the dark garage
the way they like it.
Thinking of Something to Say
Night hawks light
two against one
counter man and
red dress and homburg
It's this way, beyond the shiv in the chest register, racing
for the deep opening where words fall before pain and laughter
this feng shui)
An offering of words that cut like a knife
in the wrong hands:
A knuckleheaded pop fizzle got it way dead bent:
isn't the deepest just
the introduction to absolute sensation
and a truth.
an abrupt disruption of energy, movement, sound, mass
feeling, employment, budget, hair, film, meat, writing, bank
throat, taxes, skin, vegetables, song, glass, love
to the bone, against the grain
& yes, Miss Lillian:
"I will not cut the cloth of my conscience
cut to the chase already, bury the ax
in the weeping
dark, release the morning
they may flee the ruby night flesh
Cut to the quick cut the crap cut the deck not the mustard
Cut it out
Here we stand strap-sharpening words into sundogs, grinding
ideas, dismembering vinaceous language and whistling
to conquer doubt
sharp cutting wings
song to a poet
knives that cut like words
She was a swordswallower who lashed blades to their shafts
& deep throated (2 yrs before the mast!)
at the shaking
that black-and-white motel
words directed all too deep
I'm balling your best friend
I'm in love with your wife
I don't love you anymore
Deep divers live on the edge, seeking
lasting liberation, cutting
the cord to drift sadly
ever after while we
swim hard for
against the deep
Walking the Dog
This utopian square was built
on the happiness
of pursuit defined by bones
of unknown revolutionaries
sarcophagus for one nineteen
one not trammeled nightly not
played on by varments mongrels
vermin children not
supporting homeless lovers
in halogen sleep.
He has his own flame:
We should be so lucky.
He knows who he is:
We should be so sure.
Black grackle relies on prayers
panting crouched in the long shade
scrutinizing nature's rubric
in this funeral parlor
This vigil for headless young
will end when the flies finish
when grackle is finished
Walking the Dog 2
brotherly love boy
cranked up way late
way down deep jammed
the cheap switch saw
stained by me
not this ending
not just yet
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