Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Poem by Matthew Thorburn

This poem can be found in issue 13 of OCHO. I love the fact that the whole poem happens within parenthesis!

What Happens When I Try to Talk About What Happens

(One flight up, silly music shakes
the jukebox. Dubby synths, hiphoppy.
"Heard this before?" I like it, like last call
at Yoshimi's here with you. Early a.m.
on Second Ave. Sea Breeze, bathtub gin.
The sky curls up at the corners, pale
like your wrists. A look says
I'm looking at you. A stutter of drum
machines on the roof; the rain loves
its high hat, its ride cymbal. Where
did your nose ring go, and the years?
It's been so long you remind me
of you. Janie, I almost put in
stars here, then a cloudless sky.
I try to say how it happens and it changes.
I've got a bad case of what's real
vs. what's really made up. And which
is worse. For instance, let's not talk
about your fiance. Tell me what
your tattoo means. Everything means
something. At least we want it to.
For instance, your hands stay
tucked away, one per pocket.
Each record winds down like a clock
—or does it? Did it? What I need
is the flashbulb pop to fasten this
to photo paper, keep it true. Life stays
in the picture. "How long has it
been again? Doesn't feel like it."
Time for tacos, guac' tacquitos—
"My Spanish is, well, how do you say
rusty?"—at El Bocadito around
the corner. There's always a corner
to turn and then a moment when
something happens or might have—
bad time for our waitress to step in,
for Fate to fumble for his wallet.
A swift second slips between the now
that's writing and the then that's written
and then I hail a cab—"Uptown?"
"No, down"—you slide in ahead
of the yellow door, the closing
parenthesis, and this moment's left
to hang out, hang on, as if it only happens
to be happening right now.)

1 comment:

Matthew Thorburn said...

Very very belated thanks for posting this. Glad you like it!