20 May 2009

D. A. Powell

[from D. A. Powell's Chronic, Graywolf, 2009]

clutch and pumps

if you were in your shoes, you purse your mouth
but you were never in my shoes, chinaberry
nor I in yours: the cherry ash of fags
burns your path down the scatty streets

your smile wraps round pumps with a smack
the jawbone of a mighty red croc
who served up his behind to your toes
jagged bite marks: the hem of your frock

tombs, sister, you've got lithic tombs for hips
one chimney stack where a bbq pit should be
you say that I'm in janitor drag this year: as last
do these tits go with these shoulders? why ask me?

those talons you cultivate I do admire
the chchineal cheeks the flirty lashes
I don't want to live in a clutch purse town
you snap: and yet everything matches

cosmos, late blooming

already the warm days taper to a plumate end: sky, where is your featherbed
some portion for me to fall to, in my contused and stricken state
not the extravagant robe I bartered for: tatters, pinked edges, unpressed

lord, I am a homely child, scrabbling in the midden for my keep
why should you send this strapping gardener, hay in his teeth, to tend me
now that the showy crown begins to dip like a paper saucer

surely he'll not content with corrupted flesh that dismantles daily
so singular this closing act: spectacular ruin, the spark that descends in air
might he find no thrill in this trodden bower.     ragamuffin sum of veins

in my mouth the mausoleum of refusal: everything died inside me
including fish and vegetables, language and lovers, desire, yes, and passion
how could I make room in this crypt for another sorrow: caretaker:

lost man, these brambles part for your boots, denizened to my lot
your hand upon my stem now grasps the last shoots of summer
choose me for your chaplet, sweetheart.     wasted were my early flowers

Centerfold in Boston Review

Continental Divide in Poetry Magazine

Buy D. A. Powell's book @ Amazon

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