Gringoboy poets / cutting loose

with new pinking shears bought in Paris France

snipping away the wardrobe of unfashionable imagery

Some put on the professional's frowning Lenin-mask

and lean forward to scribble historic directives

Some dress up in helmet and boots / deconstruction workers

begin tearing down rusty syntactic scaffolding

framed in a Futurist sunrise while

some just flag down parataxis

to carry them out of the smelly knife-lit barrio

their own rage

Gringoboy poets / cutting loose

from the bloodstained mesh of social relationships

all the others are flailing and gasping about in

They can drift down in a diatom shower

among loose particles and speech fragments

slide in on the long combers of

sentence after sentence hushing up the beach

or back into an old shell in the warm grant pool

wave their saw-edge critiques at each other

from a distance

Gringoboy poets / cutting loose

with new scalpels they bought in Paris France

cutting loose from the persimmon mush of their bodies

to float in the sunlit brine inside the eyeball

decoding patterns projected on the clean white wall

to flatten themselves into pink bookmarks with legs

so they can crawl between the pages of the dictionary

and fall asleep

to be pure brains curled in secret laboratory tanks

like boneless embryos suckling on their spinal cords

Gringoboy poets / cutting loose

from the apronstrings of that old bag / the Signified

Handsome and talented they get Language to marry them

but when they find out she has her own oxyacetylene opinions

that she does not come neatly apart like a toy typewriter

that she sweats and screams and bleeds

Gringoboy poets feel like cutting loose again

Yes gringoboy poets want a divorce

That's OK / Language wants one too

Adam Cornford



So the ears get cold, ridiculously enough,

and hurt like nails driven slowly into the skull,

and you know that donning a hat

is yet another task to be accomplished,

that life is a secret between a body and a soul,

a picture puzzle in which you are a part.

This touching and betrayal--

the everyday ache you try to assuage

with heat, with Mozart,

with projects and works in progress,

those goals and quotas you strive to meet

in the blessed forgetfulness of work.

Power is what keeps the cold away:

soft flesh, a pleasing smile, magnetism;

or the engine turning wheels

turning sweat into money.

It's a rough, unfinished business,

and each gust hurts fresh before it numbs.

How long can you keep yourself covered?

When will you turn in?

Barbara Schaffer