Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Old Neighbourhood

  Old Neighbourhood

This neighbourhood is full of nonsense;
Bells ringing all night long;
Cerebella draped on fence posts,
Ghosts shimmering under street lamps;
Singularities hammering tin plates,
Not to speak of birds preening feathers on electrified clothes lines.
Dear God how can celestial choirs conduct skies
Above this swelter of ludicrous possibilities?

Children run burnt powder streets,
Gripped by extravagant deliriums,
Hang from the diamonds of Austrian chandeliers.
They explode like mercury between grasping fingers.
Ten thousand fireflies from the left,
Ten thousand diving birds from the right,
Winking from deep shadows,
Diving from black skies.
Even dogs shit wherever they want to.
As for old men with brooms – they soon find out.
Useless their calipers,
As water their cast iron lassoes.

And it’s here my father strolls in the evenings collecting for John Knox,
Deranged fedoras gracing the edges of his silver underwear,
Delivering denial to jailbirds and alcoholic beauty queens.
Give it up Dad!
What’s the use of nailing your lower lip to apostrophes?
Dangling your liver before the eyes of the recently dead?
Let them shake their crystal trees.
Let them ride thin rockets to their own Jerusalem.

Once, five in the morning – complete quiet.
Everyone dead and buried.
Then up they spring like jack in the boxes,
Happily blowing reedy noisemakers!
Blessed by feeble skies, clutching blankets,
Hopping from one foot to the other in front of woodstoves,
Who can stop it? Why?
Sun and red jelly, surely cellophane handcuffs are totally useless!

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