detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Wednesday, November 20, 2002

: . What We Have:

From In the Next Galaxy by Ruth Stone:
    In the Next Galaxy

    Things will be different.
    No one will lose their sight,
    their hearing, their gallbladder.
    It will be all Catskills with brand
    new wrap-around verandas.
    The idea of Hitler will not
    have vibrated yet.
    While back here,
    they are still cleaning out
    pockets of wrinkled
    Nazis hiding in Argentina.
    But in the next galaxy,
    certain planets will have true
    blue skies and drinking water.

    Train Ride

    All things come to an end;
    small calves in Arkansas,
    the bend of the muddy river.
    Do all things come to an end?
    No, they go on forever.
    They go on forever, the swamp,
    the vine-choked cypress, the oaks
    rattling last year's leaves,
    the thump of the rails, the kite,
    the still white stilted heron.
    All things come to an end.
    The red clay bank, the spread hawk,
    the bodies riding this train,
    the stalled truck, pale sunlight, the talk;
    the talk goes on forever,
    the wide dry field of geese,
    a man stopped near his porch
    to watch. Release, release;
    between cold death and a fever,
    send what you will, I will listen.
    All things come to an end.
    No they go on forever.

    At Eighty-three She Lives Alone

    Enclosure, steam-heated; a trial casket.
    You are here, your name on a postal box;
    entrance into another place like vapor.
    No one knows you. No one speaks to you.
    All their cocks stare down their pant legs
    at the ground. Their cunts are blind. They
    barely let you through the check-out line.
    Have a nice day. Plastic or paper?

    Are you origami? A paper folded swan,
    like the ones you made when you were ten?
    When you saw the constellations, lying
    on your back in the wet grass,
    the soapy pear blossoms drifting
    and wasting, and those stars, the burned out ones
    whose light was still coming in waves;
    your body was too slight.
    How could it hold such mass?
    Still on your lips the taste of something.

    All night you waited for morning, all morning
    for afternoon, all afternoon for night;
    and still the longing sings.
    Oh, paper bird with folded wings

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