Word/ For Word # 2

Gwyn McVay


Another Unmentionable


You don't say out loud        asphalt : rain : worms
on their linear progress to a pilgrim's death--

The Dakota wind        found me, assaulted
me : took pictures : took photographs of me

naked as a deck chair, a joke of a deck chair
in the dark.
                   Cold knows its own.
                                                    Home-history's smudging out,

a set of dentures broken,        this hand--        why not fight
it, as concrete
                        fights battering rain?
                                                        Argue, rescue
                        an ungrateful worm : writhes and reddens,

put it on the kerb, a little less likely
a boy will smash it riding his bike

in the rain and the wizard wind

that comes out of nowhere, scatters sidewalks in its wake.






Little Girl Came Singing


mariage, l'esclavage--all marriage is prosperity,
as she wandered in a bare unfleshed wood

A schwa of deteriorations,
the irrational number e upside-down,

she sang, as she contemplated
skeletons of her relatives

at play in a tower of blocks
           with a down hey down hey down hey down

What she freed us from : slavery ropes
shot down
               Free at last






You Who


You whose sour-cherry eyes
fall out of your face
and keep falling,

you are an envelope cancelled upside-down.

The King is here. He's a nice man.

You who peep over the wing
of the King's trenchcoat, though,

Candy Darling, you Warhol superstar,

you gotta find ways and means.
Ways and means, sugar, of massing

your dead on the steps of the cathedral,
so when you exhibit your firstborn

son, they can laud and applaud.

Otherwise the oval office
stays closed, though you dream of it often.

Otherwise you never get all the way upstairs,
want burgundy walls like fire though you might.






The Letter


   cry of Ah!
like a flower,

sluttish red in the dark,
the heaving tongue,

A sergeant finds tracks of sin
in the desert, angry, shirtless,
forking the sand with his sword

You probe in your mouth but the sore
is still there, the flag

of desertion

Is one so different? Factories hammer out heavy
rut, French kisses and wine,

a good come blasts rubble
into smaller rubble,

the front turns back : rebel line






Letter to the Prince's Apartment


Ho ho, my good horse threw up
a normal bedsheet mind
from its hooves, as we flew. What dark
are you actually feeling right now?
What machine--softer than ribs,
impervious to hurt, or too much
in the way of Boston Harbor?
You might unionize their skin.
You might locate half a dry dream
of owls, curled up in a tree.
Childish chicklets are loose like that.
I've bottled the wine of a stranger
and claimed it as my own. Stop coming.
A dirty mask like you. What pulls
on your own white horse right now?
What nicer than hostess slipslop
at the grave? With glittering snow,
a fine occasion. Many have traveled
quite far, dusty-faced sweepers.

You could surrender, you could crumple fire.




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