CONJUNCTIONS:47, Fall 2006

Five Poems
Clark Coolidge


LEGACY OF THE PLUG

The pup is gone    want an amoeba?
or an orange thing?    a “schizophrenic”?
it’s marginal but we’ll play along
the same vocabulary only fun this time

I saw the roaring rush past the clock towers
not even the starlings tried to hold on
a breach of flying objects just the same
to end it all you drop    understand?

Tape ripped from the sides of scrapers with resounding smack
they developed special lamps from the building fund
after supper we made a little model to help us
think it’s all vanilla or nougat at this point?

These light boxes kept on strafing our neighborhood
father came out all struck dumb from the bushes
he was a replacement we realized after
the habitual bulks had been hauled away at last

We made our peace with the director of the piece
a professional masochist named Rama Lama Dingdong
then the credits caught fire lighting the beach
goodbye to anything within reach

THE NORMAL IS

She’s like talking to a plate of lemon ice
leads to nothing but sheared streets and Shetland sweaters
the eyes won’t track properly    there’s
something happening over there too    Jay Gatsby
hung on a pier    I’d rather go to Peru
get my heart broke in Cuzco for the elevation
as if I somehow just popped up    I knew it
raised a monster but didn’t turn out right
all you do is shove somebody    go away
screw your head on right reason for example
oodles of confusion and addled high times
usually parks her car on my dime    why
do you think of stripes here?    there’s no point
talking off the top of this nation of mistakes
whole hills of burlap and beaverboard plus other
tons of so far unlabeled whatever    all the shades of vitriol
witness to the fall of youth and its dumbass regularity
the worst part of growing up is the rest of your life

 

FAR OUT MIDWEST

I had a red outfit too one time
then the aliens appeared    they showed me
some miraculous products    artistic
bath appliances    bare spots on bedroom walls
where something once    don’t need to knock to enter
the edge of a piece of paper not empty    I could
go on...why doesn’t anyone?    meanwhile
out at the source of the circus tent
I burned my suit    after that the world
smelled of velvet right to the cheek
the closet    the settee    a photo of nothing
we all should have been bred better and now
there’s always something wrong    insects    well
what do you want?    insects    in a blue moon
someplace jazz is being made    beds rented
I have news    buttons to push    which is which?
eyeballs to fiddle with    knocks that sound like laughs
they’re coming and you mustn’t mention me!
these things mean to be taken seriously
in a yellow cab back to Illinois I suppose
all right let’s have it
pumpkin rises in deserted pond

 

A STORY CALLED MISTY

Do you promise to laugh?    the one about
the five thousand priests and the nine hundred dolls
probably have that one on the wall of your office
up all night with the realization    Tumbling Dice
world without price    born a double palomino
see you in the headlines probably the breadlines
I can hardly see at all    the minutes seem to crawl
most of our cereals come from Virginia the Piedmont
the Delta some bishopric or other    are you
my mother?    this is an homage to Williams to Stevens
to Doodad    Nimrod    Abracadabra and the Cooties
we met down on the farm    the foggy road to
speleogenesis    not good enough?    Elaine May
will save it in rewrite    secretly the snail
is in the mail    I recognized your name on the weapon
what no one else has dared to say: the sun sucks
the drill cores have been misplaced    never saw the results
we’ll gather later at Trees Lounge for the music
alone    I feel Dizzy was almost removed from the show
replaced by Cool Jerk    by the next in line by
the scoopful    an expensive leather tetherball
as a rule    tape your want list here
drop a dime on no one    topspin is permissible
always write your name in the center of the page

 

A FEW WINDOWS PAST HARVARD

I remember when the world was three
the persons were not quite inhabitants yet
but they were sad    chortles in short supply
you’d think they’d learned to bend already
I watched them carry out some very clear operations
questions?    the morning when no different than
usual was invented    play me some Schumann
nothing was canceled due to rain
golf ball or even slaughter    no homes to go to
a slurry of a match useful at any rate
the Godz were out of town    someday they will find
a fossil with a serial number    forget the DNA
comes in tubes with a gravity drive
the Paleozoic starts with an overwrought thriller
ends as one too    what a universe    all details
determined by chance or necessity    one body
gets away and we have nothing    whatever
it will be found to be made of Ridiculum