Tuesday, April 5, 2011

316. Greenbar

If given to sock-wearing,
argyle’ll be the way.
There’s a dangling something
in there, high above
the sock, but puppeted,
or inside the sock and speaking
so us like a monkey racing
across the road like a
spider, past all the empty
cat’s eyes of daylight’s
hot and also dry highway.

If given to lamp-using,
they’d be green to match
my eyeshades, my emotions, my
eyes. Money would be my
way, and I would call out,
to anyone listening,
“Don’t spend a krone or a
ducat more than ¤1,000.”
And if anyone asked me,
“1,000 what?” I’d just repeat
“¤1,000” until they knew.

If given to excess,
there’d be retraining orders
for me (no s!), and sitting
on the porcelain throne,
big bulky diapers to hold in
the warmth that would
grow from the end of it
and spread like water
through water—oh, so
comforting to feel.

If given to figuring and
financial reports, greenbar’d
be the paper for me, big
enough to fill the whole
bottom of the box and grow
into it, fill it like a stalagmite,
the green lines to keep me
steady, the white lines to
show me the way, and
numbers on the pages
enough to make me puke
with ecstatic delight.

If given to careful calculation,
a slide rule in ivory I would
demand, for the way the
little slipstick would slide
right in and then left out,
and something is always
in it if just you can see so.
And I would use it to
multiply my enemies and
divide my friends, for that
is what makes life interesting.

If given to klugy solutions to
simple problems, something
counterintuitive would do me
just fine, or the fine wine of
a good oxymoron. I could tear
apart an empty shoebox in
twenty-five seconds, and take
a year to build a cupboard
for the storage of a collection
of porcelain thimbles or
slightly used hypodermic
needles or the golden eyes of
a select set of mammals.

If given to bemoaning my fate,
you might find yourself asked
to hear why I don’t think a
poem is a good thing to do
each day, as it causes agita,
and shingles, the hard kind,
the slate ones, and pigeons
can’t even stand on them,
so they’ve gotta go to some
other place to shit and lose
feathers, which is, I fear,
(unfortunately) my house.

If given to an aloof princess
for her to do with me as she
may, my method might mean
making myself unmoving,
cold, given to bouts of sour
pretension, regarding her
dour face with the kind of
reserve usually seen only
in beefeaters (and I don’t
mean that kind of beef or any
gin at all), seriousness of a
kind that begets children so
hard, if she and I ever were
lucky enough to have
offspring, that they would sit
frozen like stones for hours
as they contemplated a
total lack of contemplation.

If given to erudition or even
to simply revealing a vagrant
as-yet-unthought thought
but one remarkably true, I
would explain that my goal is
never to move you, o, reader
of the small o of a mouth
saying an o over and over
again through the little bubble
of your mouth, I would firmly
explain that I do not move,
that my only movements
are bowel, or maybe bowling.

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