Don't ask me if these knives are real.
I could paint a king or show a map
the way home—to go like this:
Wobble me back to a tiger's dream
a dream of knives and bones too common
to be exposed. My secrets are ignored.
Here comes the man I love. His coat is wet
and his face is falling like the leaves,
tobacco stains on his Polish teeth.
I could tell jokes about him—one up
for the man who brags a lot, laughs
a little and hangs his name on the nearest knob.
Don't ask me. I know it's only hunger.
I saw that king—the one my sister knew
but was allergic to. Her face ran until
his eyes became the white of several winters.
Snow on his bed told him that the silky tears
were uniformly mad and all the money in the world
couldn't bring him to a tragic end. Shame
or fortune tricked me to his table, shattered
my one standing lie with new kinds of fame.
Have mercy on me, Lord. Really. If I should die
before I wake, take me to that place I just heard
banging in my ears. Don't ask me. Let me join
the other kings, the ones who trade their knives
for a sack of keys. Let me open any door,
stand winter still and drown in a common dream.
Riding the Earthboy 40
Earthboy: so simple his name
should ring a bell for sinners.
Beneath the clowny hat, his eyes
so shot the children called him
dirt, Earthboy farmed this land
and farmed the sky with words.
The dirt is dead. Gone to seed
his rows become marker to a grave
vast as anything but dirt.
Bones should never tell a story
to a bad beginner. I ride
romantic to those words,
those foolish claims that he
was better than dirt, or rain
that bleached his cabin
white as bone. Scattered in the wind
Earthboy calls me from my dream:
Dirt is where the dreams must end.
There is a Right Way
The justice of the prairie hawk
moved me; his wings tipped
the wind just right and the mouse
was any mouse. I came away,
broken from my standing spot,
dizzy with the sense of a world
trying to be right, and the mouse
a part of a wind that stirs the plains.
James Welsh um autor de origem Blackfoot / Gros Ventre que não conhecia. um primeiro e único livro de poemas, os restantes ficção, relegado, como tantos outros autores índios, para um limbo de desconhecimento, esquecidos pelo sistema de mercado das publicações que se excita até à exaustão cada vez que McCarthy muda de posição na cadeira, para não dizer outra coisa. assim é o sistema dos mercados das publicações, mas que interessa, um dia vou ler a obra de James Welsh.
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Monday, November 24, 2014