Tender Comrade

Published in The American Poetry Review

Here's a turnip from the garden

near the brook, or, to be accurate,


two tomatoes from the market.

I'm confused by the correspondence


of their forms. I believe physicians

have a name for the condition.


Not mine. She shows me drawings

of spiders and asks, Are these sketches

the inspiration for the webs

under your eyes or are your eyes

the source for all the silk in China?

Well, yes and no. What they show


is wayward—a recipe that frees

gorse from gorp. Today, bored


of five digits on one hand

and incriminating fingerprints


on the left, I decide to dumb down

the skyline's blocks of gutless planes.


I wish to embue each impotent

edifice with the shrapnel


of emoting that comes from bombings

or pilgrimages to a seaside chapel.


Each time I end up whaling.

Today's practitionerrs use


computers to deadeye a pod

a thousand miles away. In turn,


the church owes a great deal

to the sway of baleen rain-chutes


over their great roofs in the guise

of extrapolative bull's balls.


To harpoon with sonar and TNT

one must be one with occasion


and far more than, simply, a bald

head bowed into the immediacy


of a doodle. My doctor believes

in a world like a waiting room


whose magazines are decades

out of date and the receptionist


isn't sure that your HMO is

on her list and yet in the midst


of that slog and gloom mending

breeds between two humans


in an utterly inapt manner—

like a hand of one-man checkers.


To transmit such hokum into

action demands occlusion


or pillarization as well

as occasion, or, in my case


a special trek to a chapel

in Houston and a night at sea,


irrelevant to design, praying

to be deep-sixed by sea monsters.


I earned it. But I can breathe under-

water so don't bubble for me.


Instead, invest in angles, develop

friendships and associations with


a mob of chic nouns. One of us

deserves to come into view


from the blend and provide for

the odd profiles. I choose you.

last updated Wednesday, August 19, 2009 @ 12:59 PM