Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Charles Is Reading

I wrote this poem in 1998 while listening to Charles Wright read his own poetry. Since then I have been insanely jealous of any poet who gets a listening ear.

As I listen, I am overtaken by urgency. I am not making my own. I should hush his tales of Charlottesville and make him understand mine. I must force my experiences on him. I cannot let him sit alone in his backyard without offering him a flashback from my grill. He must know the smells of my adolescence.
I am not sure if charcoal alone would achieve this, but I know these smoky particles could catch a nose.
They could curl nostrils with smoke fingers and wait in the grass like waves from contraband bottle rocket missiles, turning the yard into a mosquito graveyard. Mass murder anniversary: July 4. These smoke bits could fog moths as they float and fly the league lights; could run low by the train tracks to the big log where Ray left me in fear; they could sit in the silver maple or hang in the sap of the fir; they could ride around on Pepper's feet, with a pant and a wag and the click of little toenails.
He reminds me that I am not sophisticated.

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