With mellowing eyes, two guys in an idling gas truck softly cram plain hamburgers from their blue and white paper—the exact same colors comprising the company's logo—blissfully blocking the goddamn crosswalk.
Onward steels the matchless snail—wet ground- coffee black through the dark under- belly of some disavowed dumpster— steady, silent, stealthy—toward and pitilessly—straight through the heart of his incognizant enemy.
Hulking and ordinarily swaggering jocund— a thick- witted moose of an oily black labrador suddenly— upon nosing the fresh- ly bloated brown back-alley corpse I'd failed to notice—recoils in a flash—momentarily unsettled, as to whether to double back and—subsequently lunge after the poor vermin out of blithe hunger or compassion— though certainly not for her lack— of both.
Simply to go on—and however flippantly keep lifting all of your switches each morning—one by one—with only the shallowest inclination toward gratitude—heedlessly entreating warm and buoyant light fixtures— to once again rush down—and capriciously laugh at such dark and cold hardwood; but also to do so gravely, tenderly— and with deep appreciation
for each switch's off position—not to mention compassion for the way—in which those floors begin blushing.
Presently— most- present—mostly to the feeling of just feeling perfect- ly still, small and cold—here endures a feeble pebble—in the raw wind of perpetual- ly next- morning's maelstrom; unflinching because—so trivially uncultivated, with no knowledge—whatsoever of any such part- whole relations it's carving; but instead— oddly embodying the ineffectual poetry—that even all hail storms!—are simply one little stone followed—not conscientiously, but consistently— by another.
Soft pedal on the piano—smearing the unhurried arpeggios— strange cloud formations half- occluded—in the background by alien tin can nine o'clock speakers; and so this must be—good Saturday morning again to your shadowy devotion which has finally outlived—its own expectation.
Bravo, bravo! How bold! and intrepid! So brave! and even a little impetuous!—squawk clearly several presumably anthro- pomorphic and hulking—American bald eagle-sparrows encouragingly—and directly to our hero and his arrow— as they pierce through the fierce wind and pass briskly together underneath the animals' posh private hot roost—up above the most cartoony back alley mosaics of crazy swirling houndstooth- gnarly brickwalls in all of wobbly westside Chicago—themselves the only things in town— so thick as to—seemingly not give a whip— whether or not—it's thirty-below.
Slow and—deliberately invited to ignition inside—cupped pairs of such clean and incredibly careful white hands— endless roomfulls of rows of tall skinny alabaster candles quickly wane— after learning how—successfully to burn from both ends—
Rambunctious, punctilious, flying off the handle— come Saturday morning—they'll all stand a little transfixed—stainless, big doe-eyed, bare- footed, bright, and single- mindedly beholding—the flickering blue light; warm, present, and alive—to the visceral sizzle and concentrated smell—invited by such horrible, humble, and crucial pure animal fat—as it drools outward from each and every little peel—of the brave thing you're sacrificing—faith- fully, mind- fully, deft, sure, and vestment- clad, as usual—there in your lovely wife's dead- from-a-heart- attack, wise, old, great grand- daddy's favorite—cast iron pan.
Under a kinder—or perhaps a more generous heaven there should flow a river that's—appreciably wider; in which bright curvilinear and liquid letters— whole hosts, limpid, blue ink- flecked and familial—could travel together—coiling, uncoiling in their great silent rhythm— unfettered but intelligible— towards a vast and a safe, and a clear, and a clean, and a general—Ocean of blank paper— spaciously, if ambitiously named—Comprehensibility.
Honest- ly Abraham—I am no hero; this—is just how it all works in the morning: I twist a dial that lights the fire that mechanically requites the warmth of my family; followed—thickly by a commonplace trickle— of exotic banana- smell and a quick little
conviviality—actuated by love to be sure, but compartmentalized faithfully, and lubed- up justly and liberally—with automatic easycream, easysugar coffee—and, as long as we can spare it— with a dash from that old box of yours called—malice toward none.
Poets are swell and all— but often distracted, and they're boring; their poor heads swarm with admittedly sweet and sonorous, but very repetitive music; and it usually makes them—very late for work in the morning.
Constantly cycling and deadlifting pound after pound of swollen shit—precariously into tight little brown bags—and keeping up with his half- smile—in sheer defiance of his old frozen- solid right hip the entire time; goddamn it! if this guy sure isn't— your kind of hero, fair- ly stunned Chicago.
Bob, by dear god— may your mettle always remain thick— with hot stable milk, tender croissants, sturdy biscuits; and always—if you wish it, a few of those good Marlboro cigarettes first—quick as you like—but slow as you're able.
Felt- for without looking—a softly invited click—of the greenlit switch on simple Mr. Coffee—proximately emancipating aroma, extraction, flowing water; then— by and by, any old inane conversation around a shabby rectangular table— so long
There—in the very last light of the waining weekend— old loaves of restaurant bread— each of them chunked and quite green and blue mold-rife—now populating each broad quiet square of cold sidewalk—look perfect- ly alright with—not to mention well suited to—their vague cortege of attendant penicillin- colored pigeons.
Just think—somewhere or other in your place, there's a mirror— greensilver gilded— otherwise austere, grim, dustless— that you yourself— when you first moved here never endeavored to hang there; it just—clings where it clung before, same as it ever was, and already paid for. But never once have you hesitated to allow it to use you routinely—prior to exhaling out your door every morning— to look itself squarely in the eye and to think— what the hell?
Kate—you and I could just as readily be a pair of electrified firebirds—conspicuous heroic and ruby plume- crested as you like—but ordinarily never- the- less inclined to rushes of quite simply disappearing—quickly as cinders— searing through leaden winter air; making our own heat and light as we spiral—keeping little and never despairing that there's not really— any such thing as those animals.
Column by column—down each of these— new narrow and fairly deep snow- interred corridors—the soft and the fair touch of grey light—eventually reigns, mildly but gravely—emancipating the names— Toyota Solara, Pontiac Sunfire, et. cetera—as it parades past, without so much as a dim shadow of irony.