Tuesday, November 22, 2016


Crossing this balding and broad-
shouldered city alone in early winter—

still tasting faintly those bitter endnotes
of a very aggressive autumn

which still linger like burnt toast on the
thin morning air—and knowing

it's still just a little too soon
for those peppermint-soothing

diversions of fiber-optic barber-
pole holiday fare—this is the moment

when there's really no forest
toward which this street's column-collated

trees can aspire; when the strange projections
of daily life, caught between such frivolous

and complex preoccupations, feels like they
might as well be broadcast from Mars.

Suddenly, summer was a laughable theory.
Everything is cold and small and concrete—and yet,

still a little soft, too roomy, and strangely light
for its size—like a movie set

that's all held together with spit
and little bits of insulation, with

gaffers' black tape, union electricians' chewing gum
and craft services' leftover peanut butter, where

everything's only temporary, all is
just for show—intended by the higher-ups

and executive producers, only to give
the casual impression—not of a cast and crew

fused in commercial cooperation,
but of an entire civilization

all having agreed—that this distracted nexus
between the past and the future tense

will be believable, was
wanted, and is doable.