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Poetry #101
(published September 26, 2002)
Independence Day, 1984
by Barry Blumenfeld

"no ideas but in things"

I walked to a beach today,
A grey spot on the rim of Lake Calhoun.
As I leaned against an elm's bark, dreaming,
Walt Whitman open at my elbow
To a litany of particulars,
And leaves of grass each one a specificity
Filibrating in a breeze around me,
As I watched the crests rise and blaze and sink
Into the glittering Calhoun of possibilities,
I thought: sic transit and all that.
Living bodies give themselves up
To carcinogenic light.
All "white". That famous flesh tone.
A Martian might like their spirit of surrender:
What a shame to blast these babies!
The first innocent race we've found
In all our wanderings!

In the elm's shade I wrestled
With a most inhuman lust.
That au pair girl can't be a day past fifteen.
She brings those Chinese rich kids here
Every damn day.
Her bikini bottom
Dips low in back,
Never fails.
Don't you know, honey,
Your generative cleft's south tip-top
Is showing?
My desire is an angel with no opacity and big
Wings, one furled
In each of my lungs.
Come Armageddon Day
He'll jazz you, babe,
With his shining cornet.

Ugly promise. Never mind.
I forgive you.
You me too, please.

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