Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Previously Written: A Violent Welcome

I have wonderful news, my takaw peoples. I was so impressed with a certain Jessika Aldridge's ability to create beautiful images with an effortless flow, and so touched by her work, which is packed full of emotion without becoming melodramatic, that I asked her if she would be interested in becoming a full time Crispy Pata author. It turns out she was just as excited with the thought as I was!

To celebrate, this week's edition of Previously Written features a collaberation between Jessika and I. About a year ago, we were reading a lot of Sean Thomas Dougherty. This poem is a cover of one of his that we worked on together.

Piano Violence

Can you break the keys
over her head in a rhythm?
To plink a tune like a monkey on a
coconut hanging in a window at
Barneys in New York City, with eyes
drooping like an elephants breasts
shortly after birth. Yes, I see sea foam
turn into diamonds off the coast of
Florida on a wintry morning, while shellfish
make love in the garbage.
Sailors poke their Linuses in the sails of the
ship and I wonder if they’ve ever eaten
crabs from the caves in France.
A dessert from the diner just outside of
San Antonio reminds me of bananas shucked from
beaten up pick up trucks by Canadians with
headbands. Frilly dresses of purple and yellow dance
while ukeleles play from a rooftop and
dogs lap at water dripping from a holey anaconda
consuming a fat woman.
You are a prisoner on death row, waiting for burnt
biscuits and sea fairing winds. Alcatraz mothers
you, and I try desperately to gather the sandpipers at
my feet. Your ship stinks off the coast of
Bombay; the cargo on board smells like tea bags and olives.
I give my last toothpick to an old man in a
mall, in Manila, and a little girl asks for a red fox in
sheeps underwear. I reply that foxes only live
in coral reefs and I have never ventured to Sydney.
I stroll to a bend in the road, and fight the
people who ate bread off a plate, plain and dry,
like a piece of sandpaper on my tongue.
I take the left side of the road, because that’s what side
the trees lean to, and I find a factory run by
the Holy Ghost and Mo Rocca. They specialize
in plastic chimneys and air fresheners that only work
next to mirrors in old buicks. I ask them for a flavor of
birch tree and rye, and they tell me that they haven’t
made that since you left for good. See, this is why I need the
phonecall. You were the only one that could keep
the house from rolling onto mice and men.
And when you pick up, you say to me
She is a little girl eating violins.

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