Poetry

Poetry in Processed World issue 32.

HAITIS IN RUSH HOUR

ONE
The coast guard says it is continuing to search

For more Haitians in the water,

Said the national public radio.

Fish and hatefodder,

Swimming without gills,

Stuffed with the starch of our perceptions

Their eyes yellowed and moonstruck

By the glare of our national eye;

Peering in,

We turn heads into lost cemetery numbers

Frenzies of swollen and salted eyes,

Festering in oceanic fear

The U.S. is a jerk of the knee and heart,

A baffling leap of mind.

Good Night, Macneil-Lehrer,

Good Night.

Remote controls

Fade out and faint out

Into suppertime America

Little Haitians, though, little Haitian-things

Scurrying across the dinner table like lice

Seeking asylum in the warmth of mashed potatoes,

Jockeying for sympathy amongst the peas,

Sucking the blood from my London Broil.

Those Haitians and those Cubans.

TWO
During the lunch hour, I am gliding

Along the silvery sheen of escalators

Soaring in the grandiose public eye of Washington,

Catapulting me onward toward the presidency.

The sheen of perfume credit card and shopping bag expense,

Of careers and responsibility,

Shimmering at me through resume eyes,

glittering from American Expressed Honolulu Vacations..

I felt very presidential today,

Striding majestically into the break room,

Doing my multi-tasks with style;

Held a press conference at the Coffee Urn at noon,

To outline my strategies for peace in the Middle East

and Eastern Europe,

And for a New American Order.

What was Bush doing meeting with the pope on a day like today?

His sidekick, career lapdog Eagle-burgher

Busying himself

With the blood-enraptured Serbs and Croats:

Crazy fat Greeks and scowling empire Turks

Stuck somewhere in between,

They are fired up Mongrels,

Dirty and unreasonable,

Like Arabs.

So many tribes to worry about,

Eager-Burgher said.

Those Serbs and those Croats

Building little empires, killing little people,

Just a little bit bigger

Than the flailing Haitians

Of miasma overpopulation nightmares

(Detention and detonation are similar worlds);

Meanwhile,

Silent oh-zone seethes away

Like a hissing snake,

Microwaving fields of cancerous corn and cattle

and Miami, Florida early retirement deaths.

The news today seemed more burdensomed

Than the average toll of deaths and insults

Probably because I listened to it all day long

Everybody kept killing everybody else

Over and over again.

THREE
In my carpeted downtown makework office,

Afternoon time pours on

Slow hand,

Small hand,

Drifttime,

Lunch sifting through the veins.

Everything here sticks to you:

Cremora and Winston-salem on the throat and lung

A veritable swamp down there these days,

But who is worrying?

Oh!-Zone seeps and pushes through late afternoon,

Presiding in giant silence

Over the clattering of mega-bites;

It lurks and sulks behind the timeless questions,

Such as:

Which is worse, anyway,

A broken law

Or a broken heart?

FOUR
Afternoon updates:

The horrifying bath of bloodwater death

In the Phillipines

Makes poetry obsolete.

You should not listen to the news all day

The dead can really get to you.

I wonder if they have found any more Haitians

Writhing in midnight nets

Amongst the starkist tunas.

Somebody ought to sift them out

From the slithering pile,

They make for good laborers.

It is nice to get a paycheck on a Friday.

—Christopher Cook

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WRONG WAY

the division of infinite space / conferring

the mind's childhood what will be endurance

war on the subject museum of future tense OUT

of language acquisition

as you like / or a way that an infant relates

fixed to itself sexually exiting, leaves the walls

"The birds are drunk again

Speaking their own language" (Laura Moriarty)

memory

all air is up for grabs

conspiracy?

the need to know it now: field empty

to find the culprit / water's up front

the enemy, another front wrong way

do not enter ( this is a note to myself )

to remind myself that I'm here ( war of the roses )

I'm trying to translate the DNA / technical forces / the demand for novelty

field EMPTY

to exploit the new, the new has no historical baggage

old lovers, ripe flesh "It's this passion which one

could call white,"

( Anne-Marie Albiach )

—Alexander Laurence

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DON'T JUST STAND THERE, SELL SOMETHING

Bring all the blood you got and if it's not enough

We'll make some.

Afternoon of another damn writer in a bad mood.

Don't these weenies ever lighten up?

Late into the night a grad student schemes

On how to increase the market share of poetry.

Imagine a board meeting at which an exec says

I think a little tastefully-done Dadaist image

Might serve us well here, open new markets.

— by David Fox