I am in disgrace, imposed
Strictly between the lines hunger drew,
I had it! I had it!
But a poor speaker gone near-public
With a whetted conscience of mayonnaise
And economic morality gone sour,
I jerk off into another memory, sifting
My self-rising hour, shifting on my feet
Like an entrepreneur trading promises,
Looking to the burning bush for better days.
I've been swallowed by that whale,
Caught in the drift of a dedicated urge.
I had it, I'll borrow to
Replace it in one revolution or two.
Yes indeed! I had it to give it
Its proper massage at face value,
To grease the palm tree with coconuts
Or oil spilt during an afternoon's taboo.
If'n you are polite, say
You are void of impulse, and
Let it go at that, say no thanks
But I have to go. (Periodically
Perjury is a motive known
To the best of legends.)
I had it, almost.
Language, your honor,
Is mere alphabet dirt. Abandonment is energy
Too sharp to touch without furor,
But say, haul it in,
Taste beyond contentment
Doing its own work,
And other mad values captioned in crime.
Strapped to thyself against the deck, say
Blow, say blow bay blow, say
Grab up cane and tame the vicious dog.
Know that fear's elect echoes no chorus
But somehow somewhere sometimes forgets
To clothe itself with dignity befitting
Its call, say howl Allen Ginsberg
If you chance meeting him
In occupied territory
Where gods wrestle and speak, say
Speak to us in whale. And to the last word
Nymphomaniacs and their guessing captors,
Legging margins across the dispassionate land, say
Hey button those blouses open to angry remarks
Ruthless enough to Naomi, say
Juggle yesterday's summer
Until parenthetical dawn, say
Nothing to Walt Whitman,
Ezra say Pound, the captain of swans,
Willie Mays say hey Neil Young, say
To the brash Elvis, research impulsive,
Or Johnny Rotten in the heat
Of awkward citizenship.
And Mother Alibi, say the key to happiness
Won't open the door
Where implication and silence
Are only as good
As each word implies,
Say, how is it every time I pray
I feel like deodorized vomit, say
Souls grow on bones but die beneath
Banker's hours, say
Tell us your name whale, and
We'll make you a star, casting
Matches like chorus lines
Between government issues, say
Where do we hang our hammock, say
Hope a man will cut his hair
Simply to punctuate a sentence, or
Fix his neighbor a cheese sandwich, say
To Delilah Mae Jones,
Samson is dead. Say, but
There has come another greater than he, say
Welcome y'all, say crab canons are delicious
Ways of life, say whales of America
Are a sign to insurance agents.
If'n you are angrily plundered, say
Do not be tricked by men, say
But let them trick you, sampling
So that you are never sent to the orchards
To gather unbias pickles, say
Pairs of excuses are unexplainable
To a whale who is strictly vegetarian
For reasons only the father knows, say
Midnight cravings innocently coded
In hollow rhetoric
Are useless to the slayers of
Civil disobedience, say
Navel oranges tapered to grip expense
Sit down, roll around, gnaw bones, shape knees,
And remind us that chaos is culture, say
Practice what you preach, say
Silence. I am in disgrace, almost.
[ 1982, Atlanta, GA ]
© 1982 - 2013, Gabriel Thy. All rights reserved.