Honest Al got a yard full of cars

Honest Al's - Google Streetview

Honest Al got a yard full of cars
always tells the truth
about them anyway he wouldn’t
bother to lie about a thing like that
if Honest Al wasn’t being
honest he’d probably just tell you
anyway This one’s a piece of crap
you want it?

got a junkyard and a junkyard
dog an alley and alleycats
got sufficient military firepower
for this neighborhood because
you know you never know
Honest is one thing but
no rule you gotta be stupid too
got a lot of other shit

to deal with too like banks
and trucks and insurance
and taxes and traffic
and rising sea levels and
bad air and this raised
brown spot on my arm
it’s been there
a while it’s probably nothing

anyway

Honest Al’s going to the beach
to lie in the sun for a while
forget his problems watch kids play
and read some fucking poetry

 

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Thirteen Things the Government Doesn’t Want You to Know about Blackbirds

Blackbird detail 1280px-psm_v84_d214_flocking_habit_of_migratory_birds_fig1

1.
New rule in your city:
Everything you know about blackbirds
Is about to change.

2.
The blackbird told me
One simple trick
To get the IRS off my back.

3.
Check out these
Hilarious blackbird fails!

4.
Revealed: secrets
Of the world’s richest blackbirds.

5.
Click here to view
Celebrity nude blackbirds!!!

6.
I am Nigerian prince
Recently come to possession
Of substantial Blackbirds.
Transmission of a small sum
To pay Customs duty
Enables their release to you.

7.
Watch how this chance meeting
Between two blackbirds
Erupts into violence.

8.
The unblinking eye
Of the blackbird
Is our last bulwark
Against terrorism.

9.
Here are six wild predictions
That came true
About a blackbird.

10.
Yes! Yes!
Blackbird!

11.
Red wing; black bird;
The all-in-all.
It takes millions of colors
To make this clear
So buy a new phone now

12.
Secret brain pill blackbirds are using
May soon let them
Replace humans.

13.
True science:
This blackbird
Kept in a sealed box
Was both alive and dead
And neither.

 

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Nobody ever went to jail

Robinson_Jeffers_Hawk_Tower,_Tor_House,_Carmel,_CA_2008_Photo_by_Celeste_Davison

faith is a coherent structure
of lies, but the insistent
endless inhuman beauty
of things is incoherent truth

and nobody ever went to jail
for making well-wrought urns
but not by these
shall we come to glory

mumbled the old man squatting
in his handlaid tower
looking out over the sea-churn
high up and foreseeing everything

including its inevitability

.

then standing stretching
walked away from what should
have been the tied-off
end of it all

descended the stairs
stepped over the doorjamb
walked into town
to buy groceries and gin

the traditional unwilling challenger
impassioned, nearly all-powerful
but drunk with it
hardly a friend to humanity

ruining everything like always

.

always doing that one last thing

 

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Ariel

Seedling - Ray S - 8197868606_161834d373_z

Later some said
You’d all along been practicing for dead
But I believe it wasn’t in you
To practice what you thought you knew;
You thought yourself wise and were
Already plotting your rise.

 

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When you’d died

Clutter - Jonas Ahrentorp - 753826914_9fa84941c4_z

When you’d died
and they’d taken you away
and burnt you next day
all we were left with
was your whole life

packed in between the walls
nothing thrown away
nothing recycled
everything jumbled
interconnected
inextricable

a path through it
doors that opened or shut
boxes drawers cupboards
dressers trunks folders
presses shelves
garages attics

I’d think I knew you

revolvers
cast-iron pans
bank statements
photos in cigar boxes
notebook lists of anecdotes
from the presidents’ lives

then find another thing

jar full of beard trimmings
secret mailorder magazines
bag of your own teeth

ticked list with the dates
of every half- or quarter-cigarette
you’d smoked recently
which were smoked with Larry

boxes of paperbags
medals bills
diagnoses
draft wills

that letter that ashtray
that hint of a romance
or was it nothing at all

in the end
all that was possible
was to just invent you
and say I’d known
that man

 

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No story

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There were never two men named Charles
in spite of what they both said
there were never two wives of two men named Charles.
There weren’t four children of two wives of two
men named Charles, and they didn’t
have eight pets, and forget about everything
you think you know,
nobody ever gave them sixteen names
thirty-two Christmas presents
or sixty-four walks around the park.

None of that ever happened.

 

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Used to be

Write Me - Menno Abbink - 6988754098_28b4826255_z

then as maybe now
every day came
with a purpose
you just had to wait
with an open pocket
it’d slip something in—

a book of poems
a tails-up coin
a bottlecap
printed inside
with a riddle
something;

one day followed
the one before
they were
all in a row
but each one
unexpected

like dominoes set
just so
far apart
if one fell
it was the only
casualty;

all together
small multiples of life
each ending
with a death
each beginning with
a birth.

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That morning you had reassured me

(after Yosa Buson)

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That morning you had reassured me
before we said goodbye.
At evening my heart was in a thousand pieces
and the pieces scattered.

Thinking of you, I wandered.
The world had been so full of you
it didn’t occur to me to wonder
that the hills themselves were in mourning:

Pathfinder in shade, prairie stars white in sun –
and no one to look at them.
I heard a pheasant calling and calling
fervently.

Crossing the river, I thought:
once you lived on the other side.

You left in the evening,
at morning my heart was still,
my heart that you had steadied,
in a thousand pieces.

Ghostly smoke rises a little before
the north wind that blows it away
across the deadgrass fields,
through the winter-stripped coppices.

Once you lived across the river;
You were everywhere, like smoke,
like memory, so when you are gone,
who can I be, stripped of a past?

I stripped dead leaves from branches
wove a hut to sit in
sat there alone all day
and long into the invaluable evening.

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