January 2003 / Volume Four / Issue One
Jason Floyd Williams
contender for the belt.

I didn't have the time
to shoulder Pinsky in
the parking-lot after
his reading,
The idea of being a
Nation's poet laureate
should allow room
for rogue poets- howlin' Khan!
in the back; flashin' an Indian
Beat drummer cowboy stares:
Ah 11 kill ya afterwards–
to wrestle for the position.
Sure ya can quote Tennyson,
but can ya reverse the figure-four.
Nah, I didn't smack Pins4y around–
he was probably recitin' his
Millennium poem while I was
nailing 901b green, not aqua, to
a small roof.
Then thoughts canoe towards Anna.
That night she'd mention
in passing of a half-date
she had.
5 wks after she repelled
me with a dating embargo.
I would brood, the Mummy
tangled in tight fraternity sweater,
dirty wrappings, while we
burrowed down Cleveland side-streets
for her smokes.
Two days later I'd explain
my behavior in my driveway
in her car.
Rain littering the city.
On the roof, though, checking out
the vultures floundering Japanese zeros
above my grandfather's head,
him throwin' glue down, saying:
"i'm not rotten yet!"
imagining their noises, bawks,
strained necks–
impatient motorists behind
an accident–
bugging my dreams of her–
just as the oxen, giraffes, chicken-hawks,
and whatever the hell else
my aunt's clock had on it,
which gave each animal an hour, did.
A week before,
a fat lab's feet soundtracking
dreams of her while she was
shaving, showering, for a
James Dean stunt-double,
who'd leave before coffee
& pancakes.
Today, with vulture's sketchin'
a swished radius closer & Pinsky
probably spewing
some tedious poem 'bout
tenderness & elms,
I listen to the dogs bark
at a hitch-hiker;
sun cooking us for the birds.
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