The Unswung Bat

Tuesday, April 18, 2006
 
Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

Fishin' for sympathy about his girlfriend man in the next computer booth has said "you know what I mean?" no less than 30 times in the past 3 hours. The half-interested girl he's miserably chatting up seems to take his side or at least nod along, which is easy enough when he gives it so monotonously. He should maybe join the Bush Administration. I think the core of their governing strategy, it might lie in the brainkilling but you have to listen drone, too. Carp their way into whereever they're going—Iran, pants, what have you.

While I was typing this note, he said it 3 more times. His middle-eastern accent makes the phrase sound vivid, tired, and resonant as in a hollow, which it is.

Anyway, here is something else.


Dust Jackets

Hang it all Otis Redding, you said:
You missed the hike across-country,
last chance to wander on your feet
pulling up grass pages leafing in the wind as you go
to scatter on your last shoreline. And we're not doing it again.
Those grasses don't grow back, and anyway, we're out of ground.

For want of something firm, grasshopper legs flail in empty space
or maybe water,
futilely: our backs do the work of legs now, after the ocean stretched out to snatch us.
Or maybe we crept down the beach thinking we'd float face-up and stare, at
stars or sun or seagulls shitting overhead, sky sliding and rocking in the swash.

Us sinuating on the waterskin, with waves hugging us like dolls.
And us pageless covers (our senses fallen out),
instead bracketing sometimes the ocean, sometimes the air,
muck and sunshine and water and the stray other cover that slips into our binding and holds.

All this float, a static suspension, or dynamic too huge and tiny to take apart, piece together, distinguish?
Everything is too big and too small, letters without pages without books without shelves--
Water, stars, space, waves, silt in the wash that is memory, of grass and rock, dissolving into the endless pool--
A country is a book: did we live there?
A bay is a reservoir of pages (wasting time). Is this a landless waste?

Ridges in the water
raised by kicking legs, maybe just splashing fingers, flexing spines,
psychic comic lines radiate from everywhere a person floats,
clashing into spray and meaningless patterns:
The great static foreground, oceantop surface of body movement waterjumps communicating,
falling flat and coming back for more.

---

hung out to dry,



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