Poetry

GRINGOBOY POETS

Gringoboy poets / cutting loose
with new pinking shears bought in Paris France
snipping away the wardrobe of unfashionable imagery
Some put on the professional's frowning Lenin-mask
and lean forward to scribble historic directives
Some dress up in helmet and boots / deconstruction workers
begin tearing down rusty syntactic scaffolding
framed in a Futurist sunrise while
some just flag down parataxis
to carry them out of the smelly knife-lit barrio
their own rage
Gringoboy poets / cutting loose
from the bloodstained mesh of social relationships
all the others are flailing and gasping about in
They can drift down in a diatom shower
among loose particles and speech fragments
slide in on the long combers of
sentence after sentence hushing up the beach
or back into an old shell in the warm grant pool
wave their saw-edge critiques at each other
from a distance
Gringoboy poets / cutting loose
with new scalpels they bought in Paris France
cutting loose from the persimmon mush of their bodies
to float in the sunlit brine inside the eyeball
decoding patterns projected on the clean white wall
to flatten themselves into pink bookmarks with legs
so they can crawl between the pages of the dictionary
and fall asleep
to be pure brains curled in secret laboratory tanks
like boneless embryos suckling on their spinal cords
Gringoboy poets / cutting loose
from the apronstrings of that old bag / the Signified
Handsome and talented they get Language to marry them
but when they find out she has her own oxyacetylene opinions
that she does not come neatly apart like a toy typewriter
that she sweats and screams and bleeds
Gringoboy poets feel like cutting loose again
Yes gringoboy poets want a divorce
That's OK / Language wants one too

Adam Cornford

WIND/CHILL FACTOR

So the ears get cold, ridiculously enough,
and hurt like nails driven slowly into the skull,
and you know that donning a hat
is yet another task to be accomplished,
that life is a secret between a body and a soul,
a picture puzzle in which you are a part.
This touching and betrayal--
the everyday ache you try to assuage
with heat, with Mozart,
with projects and works in progress,
those goals and quotas you strive to meet
in the blessed forgetfulness of work.
Power is what keeps the cold away:
soft flesh, a pleasing smile, magnetism;
or the engine turning wheels
turning sweat into money.
It's a rough, unfinished business,
and each gust hurts fresh before it numbs.
How long can you keep yourself covered?
When will you turn in?

Barbara Schaffer