‘Greenwich Avenue’ by James Schuyler

In the evening of a brightly
unsunny day to watch back-lighted
buildings through the slits
between vertical strips of blinds
and how red brick, brick painted
red, a flaky white, gray or
those of no color at all take
the light though it seems only
above and behind them so what
shows below has a slight evening
“the day—sobs—dies” sadness and
the sun marches on. It isn’t like that
on these buildings, the colors which
seem to melt, to bloom and go and
return do so in all reality. Go
out and on a cross street briefly
a last sidelong shine catches
the faces of brick and enshadows
the grout: which the eye sees only
as a wash of another diluted color
over the color it thinks it knows
is there. Most things, like the sky,
are always changing, always the same.
Clouds rift and a beam falls
into a cell where a future saint
sits scratching. Or a wintry
sun shows as a shallow pan of red
above the Potomac, below Mount Vernon,
and the doctor from Philadelphia
nods and speaks of further bleeding.

Source: Schuyler, James. “Greenwich Avenue.” Collected Poems. New York: Noonday Press, 1998, pp. 169-170.

Awaiting Diagnosis

who whips
little wooden
orbits says
hello i am
laughter
soured

there is
grass mown &
wind stilled &
i have come
up to the hole
& found it lacking

Total Aesthetic Loss

Staten Island, New York, June 2020

cherry moves fast
consumes fuel spark air
fires momentary and true

tears
asphalt
from erudition

give it away
pennies on the dollar

corpse
of carbon

pattern making
gone so badly maybe
aerated biomass
steel screws
perchance to love

lecture urlecturer
well cared for whistling
white curator

hands of filial head

translation
blinks
concrete

total aesthetic loss

portrait in oblivion (isa)

Ridgewood, NJ, August 2020

she says 			i can cook vegan
she says 			savory
				nutritional yeast flakes 
				harvested for good health
our face is probably the only thing of that scale
crushed red pepper flakes
our face obsessed in its desire for duplicate
i didn't choose this sacred hardware
our battle ax-thin XXX bride
prime butch dress cascading salvo
cachaça bottle thick hairy professor
				in the window sill
				go fast,
she says					the advertisements 
to the confident			are coming to
advertisers				shake you awake

We’ve Updated Our Employee Handbook

Kyoto, Nov. 2019

to all decurved contract
workers
both boy
and girl
please note
we offer a paltry 401(k)
cancer herpes
kind-hearted flechette
america
the corporation
complain
the complaint
liable to get nations
flayed guilty imagination
unspoiling
brood parasite
munitions
nesting
in an oval
in a pit
lazy dog
iron heart
suddenly
unleashed
starving
detonating
undetonating
detonating ad
nauseam decorated
celebrated soft
fleshy middle
managers
break’s over!
tumbling
from a cloud

Confessional Poem

Battered Cat, Survival Cat; Kyoto, November, 2019

this world
sorry
remains

or humanity
sun chops through bowling
the six forty

essential as a fax machine
here’s some good advice
demand luxembourg in the alley

who knows his motivation?
you simply hold all available
hands outward, palms up;

six whistles
doddering thru
tropical depression

her brunette history
stole
of friendship

as a friend places his twisted
erased
bottle durango — no one owning anything

of a sugar shell
one by one
after thermite nights

authoritative as a poet
listening to sparrows pr plans bombfall

or pins rattling inside out
what does it taste like?

in the back of mike’s
from one who demands better worm

at the brewery
erasing
carbon

it’s all
you can do
unless

hole
wide purse of
advice

his palms to yours
the inert grenades

slowly beautifully you’ve nicked
luxembourg or humanity
hands into hands

Acusar al Presidente

Hackensack, August 2020

yes 10:13 in hackensack and i am wondering
why on earth is my skin so skinny

when all the prayers say i should be greasy
my benedictions

should be known widely
how many people are even in this bolted down town

anyway if i stop with all the bolas de acero
cerveza and el gran

poeta contemporáneo maybe i’ll dry up
maybe i’ll go on that boat trip

i promised my family anyway
here’s to the good colonel

working the corner
for the wrong boxer

why fight at all the dog
lucy her coffee bean

rising in the midday sun
takes a dive into the green grass

was it right acusar al presidente
was it weather crashing down on my head

like a thug’s framing hammer
don’t even got a wallet

there’s certainly no cash
i’ll cancel all the cards

before you spend a dime
i’ve been discourteous look

up at the flying cars stare and steal
a handful of photos

of this first great fear two men
with blond pony tails

look at that lot
i should cast them out

of hell for being so official
so beautiful so dour

on this urine soaked street
i stole that photo of the dog

by the balls my dog with the coffee
bean tried to attack the man

fat man slicking himself with sesame oil
this mobile phone suggests a yellow face crying

of laughter
after with my thumbs

i type urine and sweat 🤣 that one
squeezes through the wire like a stranger

to me anyways
chopping grass the old fashioned way

the calendar says hello
with both hands it is august 1

a lens cap in my pocket
a black coin from not so long ago

i looked up mike kanemitsu now
i’m sweating 🤣 memory

passive dogs attack
the passive voice

yes 10:13 in hackensack
and i am wondering

Simile on the Morning

Osaka, 2019

cherry wave moves fast
consumes gas spark oxy
gen ignites momentary true

tears
apart
asphalt

gives it all away for pennies on the dollar

corpse
of oak

wave of pattern-making
gone now so maybe
aerated biomass
bound to steel
screws i once loved

as a lecture
well cared for
white curator
of white curators

my hands in my filial head

translation
concrete

as total aesthetic loss
as movement

Dear Oblivion

Lake George, N.Y., July 2020

i’ve
stubbed my tone again
against the edge
of some other universe
under the weekly
farmers market
near the free whiskey
samples retired
dentist who
summers in santa
monica who
explains volatilization
charcoal
filters in his coronavirus
mask
the perfect gift
for clark

i’ve
taken off again
around pluto
in the byzantine
eyes of man
nothing to do
wife away

i’ve
glanced out again
from my crashing
self sea

i’ve
named myself again
spoiled oil
spilled spinning
top approaches
edge gravity
angel’s share
bitter ship
gasping heir
to a ruined king-
dom of collapsed
arteries rough
concrete
sidewalk gone
feral over rough dog-
wood root

again
to say
enough.

Dear Oblivion

Jersey Avenue, Jersey City, N.J., June 2020

So much light, dear oblivion, night after night; I offered up my body. You refused. I drank. Begged, really. Said my dreams, you don’t belong here. Some countable mornings ahead, crouched in the internet’s dark corners, hands reaching into prosaic brightness, not to gather, but offer: News spreads of a virgin conception. And so much light.