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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

There Come the Helicopters

I should have known by the fawn in the ditch
covered with flies
or the chapel and the bride
and the bluebirds of early May,
by everything I saw that day;

should have known when I saw him,
a flagellant running for pain,
panting O Christ down the sand
in heavy boots to the cross on the point
where he slumped to thank the Lord above.
Every omen was out

in retrospect; his trial was serious. I laughed—
this, some made-up ecstasy
with made-up wails and made-up shivers;
should have thought
Don’t leave him this delirious
next to the river

of what would happen when I walked away,
how a moment of clarity can carry you far, far away

into the reeds now blonder than a year ago,
and water bluer than his eyes.


Just give me a heart attack at the wheel of a gas tanker.
I’ll flip my rig over the guardrail. 
O! the overpass

like a goose with a broken neck exploding
on the road below.
Let smoke and phoenix flow
up toward the airplanes
flying so high in the friendly skies
above the summer mist
so burned beyond recognition
you’ll have to call the dentist.
I’m now forever

the mother of computer reenactments
CIA investigations
muter than the asphalt
and that great blue endless sky.

The Jolly Codger Goes Witnessing

Beneath a pheasantry of shocking hair
my old man mounted many stairs declaring
how the Lord is proud to blow His flute
and everyone breathes the same country air:
laundry soap and oil paint,
hyacinth and apple pie,
all preserved in those brochures
you take and toss away:
heaps of fruit frame mountain views,
koala bears for you and I.

Someday, the story goes always. Whenever,
lemon yellow and ash, the sky fell,
Parthenon of wind funnels, he thought of Texas—
all hot sun and righteous fantasy,
even the dry rain a blessing.
See the pronghorns eating from his hand?
But with old age came kidneys barnacled with cysts,
fluid warping the hull of the brain,
doomsdates that were changed and back again

and soon it seemed less prudent
to plea for mammoth hail than mercy.
Of course the tv courts spoke proof of Satan
fruiting in the Almighty vapor.
Farmers with eyes blue as the ribbons of a pumpkin’s prize
stirred the hay-cubed fields with pitchforks and shotguns and axes:
“If you’re Jehovah’s Witnesses
don’t come not one step no further.”

Ah, but knowing salvation’s price unaffordable never kept Noah
from throwing rope before the waters fell.
Such big game hunters of souls,
seeking the right kind of casualty
trade in numbers, not in tempers;
but wicked or just helpless,
he saw how some of each could stow away,
smuggling their disease through the antediluvian mud
so what was it to fall overboard now?

Thursday, January 8, 2009


Throat of the robin, fried on an iron skillet, dusted in fennel-
But where was King?
Milling the marble, footsteps echo, in a place between death and yesterday.
Knit-browed and faltering to resolve his tumescent valor with the
shrill population, smitten with rebates and cheating the bottom line

He knows they can knuckle and claw their way up the once-geologic incline
What can he do? cut and appear
cots and illustrious blankets with minimal frequency
Now clear the victims away

As the day recedes, he hedges his bets, feeding addiction to the self
of which there are further ramifications, as
events, thoughts appear to him as pixels of a horizon:

I want to be on the dollar bill

--Anders Sh.Mandersson