a short-lived affair ghazal, contemplating Creeley & Lawrence

We met among the barren greenish grey of newly
constructed condos in their winter-ravaged courtyard

walking dogs for cash for food & rent. The greener grass
of the unexplored, or strange, as it’s defined by old

greasy men in greasy spoons who must have grown jaded
w/their wives long-resigned to boring bridge clubs, book clubs

or other gossip circles an easy enough tease
(at least for S. & me). On a mattress on her floor

we came, heard raindrops trickle out the gutter to turn

the cracked sidewalk brown. Came again. Downpour paints the town.


for a gallery curator

were you
sleeping, old friend,
when the thought-cops arrived
to commandeer our politick?
were you.


a lost pussy pome

Cast out in a drought
once-white, dirt-ridden t-shirt
drenched, heavied w/sweat

at a gas station
on the old Lincoln Hwy
diesel fumes wafting

into newly cooled
Indian Summer evening
in W. Ohio

In my 18th year
having just lost my cherry
to long-legg’d Katie

from Hardin County,
where dog races draw a crowd.
We leave ourselves there

& I hit the road
Petty singing on cassette
“Runnin’ Down a Dream”

or running away
from that Virgo sun gone down
into the flatness

into the moonrise
I drive, sort of mariner,
from that bridge-burning.

I write her song &
record it on Tim’s 4-track
& get good & drunk

on homemade cherry
wine, purchased by my mother
on the Erie shore

years or more before.
I begin my Sr. year
in September, brood.

Katie schools down South
in New Orleans or Athens,
or Austin, maybe ...

I construct a poem
in college, call it “first sex”
or something like that

written in a rush
& under the influence
of marijuana

for Thayler's’s workshop
my 2nd yr. in Bowling
Green & Carl likes it

so I decide to
become a poet that day
(& to smoke more pot).

The poem finds its way
into some little journal.
I get over her.

-- sed March '05


It was sad to recieve word of Robert Creeley's passing. In my opinion the greatest American poet of the last half-century. At the local corporate chain bookstore, a National Poetry Month display features books by Maya Angelou and Billy Corgan, but nothing by Creeley. So it goes, the perception of the mass-markets.

One of my favorite Creeley poems:

The Memory

Like a river she was,
huge roily mass of water
carrying tree trunks
and divers drunks.

Like a Priscilla, a feminine Benjamin,
a whore gone right over
the falls,
she was.

Did you know her.
Did you love her, brother.
Did wonder pour down
on the whole goddamn town.

* * *


Single malt and steak and mushroom pie at the Red Lion. I was just at a reading, where I realized, once again, Gene Tanta is a damned good poet -- even when only reciting the work of elementary school children. End of the reading, people shuffled around the DvA gallery and Tom filled me in on the media circus at the Cafe last week in the wake of JJ's arrest. I guess that will teach me to miss out on that poetry series.

Steph and Katee meet me at the Red Lion and we have some drinks. On the way out, I hail a cab, and as we're about to enter the taxi, some Abercrombie-clad Chad & his backward baseball cap-wearing buddy, Chad, elbow ahead of us quite violently to steal the cab from us. One of them mutters something derogatory about my prized Coca Cola truck driver's jacket and hollers "I fucked your mom" to nobody in particular as the cab scurries them off to The Store or Mother Hubbard's or some other 4 a.m. shit-hole. And sometimes I wonder why I so despise Lincoln's Park.