I Will Drown

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

For Cleveland

So that oth­ers need not fol­low my ex­am­ple.
So that we may no longer be called Job’s chil­dren.

So the spoor of our smoke­stack heart can be im­paled
by its steeple sur­rounds. So there shall be a reck­on­ing.

So what buoys is more than mem­o­ries from a
gen­er­ous pour. So sin­is­ter be­comes dex­ter.

So rock rolls from our souls again.

And be­cause here we are all im­mi­grants. Because old steel
work­ers know the dif­fer­ence be­tween strong and hard.

Because a home­less man’s bene­dic­tion in­hab­its Euclid Avenue
like wind off the lake. Because we are poor but de­fi­ant.

Because this will not suc­ceed with­out hu­man sac­ri­fice.
Because I drink the wa­ter of the Cuyahoga.

Because tooth and nail is my kind of city.

For the rot­ten words we wor­ship

Thursday, 1 March 2007

a wry­neck for ronv and James Agee

When our best ef­fort grips no pen, last-falling ink il­leg­i­ble;
When de­con­struct­ed grins edge tooth and bone;

When graves or ash scat­ter truth; When the day
drone mutes; the night downs around; 

When the flut­ed thrust of grass or hands evade au­top­sy;
When: for­get ros­es; When

the breath bank­rupts and

hours lose their turn; Then the trust
sur­ren­der; Then the join­ing of hand to hand;

Then a cer­tain mend or heal will crust over eyes [thank you];
Then the blessed scrawls dove-flut­ter [please];

Then the bells but­tressed peal to kin­dred;
Then naught but kind de­cay abrawl in rest.

So our free writ re­mains the epi­taph.


When I was first work­ing on this I post­ed it by ac­ci­dent. Woefully, un­fin­ished. To para­phrase Bruce Campbell: Well may­be I didn’t fol­low every last wry­neck rule, but ba­si­cal­ly, yeah, I did. Don’t kill me.

Rust Brother, nev­er can savvy you

Sunday, 4 February 2007

a wry­neck for Wascovich

If we were rust broth­ers be­fore the rain and salt   Before
there were no scarci­ties of tanks to tread

Before the slow toe    ware­house of sound was a re­al
knife in my head   Before the shine of steel na­tiv­i­ty

Before we trussed the tracks for holo­caust   Before
sanc­ti­ty forest mur­der black-coat ca­coph­o­ny

If we are rust, broth­er

Th[r]ough beer stale trac­eries and graf­fi­ti pis­sers
Though rage-cocked shout mas­tery pays no bills

Th[r]ough the bend sin­is­ter wend­ing neigh­bor in­do­lent
in­so­lence nev­erend­ing

Though weeks pass be­tween fistclicks Though through
the rough thought caus­tic chaos mean­ing emer­gent life spark

Still we rust broth­ers