nthposition online magazine

Dadaquest & Task me with a 'do it'

by Ron Silliman

[ poetry - august 02 ]

Dadaquest

Disconnect the dots!
Undifferentiated
beep beep beep
of airport terminal
transport vehicle
The expansion of genre
at a rate much faster
than the expansion
of readers      Blimp
in the shape of
Everready bunny
The sadness of flowers
before frost disproved
Page as original
flat screen display
Slowly, a boy
nods into wakefulness
Auto-ethnography
of rainfall
Cellophane prophecy
Green goose poop
Ducks echoing
up from the quarry
Woodpecker hops
up the bare oak
Yellow jeep
honks to say hi
You have mail
The forest in winter
Pubic hair caught
between two teeth
The trash men come
before the dark fades
day no more
than the night bleached gray
The interpretation
of creams
An old man
with sores bleeding
green-yellow
about the ankles
Linoleum pattern
foretells present
Like pilots
donning parachutes
friends drop away
until only you remain
to guide the plane
the instrumentation panel
entirely unintelligible
Posthumous years
Distant sound
of a train
Woman explains
to the court
that she saw
her boyfriend
beat her daughter
eight years old
who had tried
to keep them from fighting
saw him break both arms
tape her mouth her nose
with duct tape
until the girl went limp
then blue
and did nothing
Cartoon pilgrims
on a flag
decorate suburban porch
Cat with bandaged paw
falls from kitchen table
Two ambulances one fire truck
one paramedic sport utility vehicle
surround the car spun around
into concrete barrier
On the television
football game with the sound off
World in which Strom Thurmond
outlives Kathy Acker
We walk under the grey sky
past the massive brick apartments
of outer Connecticut Avenue
toward a strip mall café
is branded - Ben Gay
The old dental bill
bait-and-switch
Not as a vessel
but against which to struggle
Poem of laughter
become a form of grieving
Lung's cough
defines a margin
The next storm
will surely bring snow

Task me with a "do it"

Rain heard as a mode of music. The birds at dawn as weather. Shirts on a banister laid out to dry. Thin arms freckled by the sun. The wounded lawn. Stuffing for the roast pig. Pincers of the adult red-brown stag beetle hanging on the screen door lend it a horned effect. The red ink of the © bleached out, what remains of the message on the car's sunscreen is "I    ComputerLand" Wood floor groans underneath me as I walk. Fly's flight is its song. Basque terror. Technology at the cusp of the 21st century stretches the world of the haves out even further from that of the have-nots. Phil Whalen dancing in the garden. Fly crazed with the light. Abandoned penny. The sole movement in the room is a frenetic ceiling fan. Godzilla for a pet (you'll have to housebreak him). Sleep through thunder. Productize intellectual capital. Live at the nostril. MCI Systemhouse, Sprint Paranet, AT&T Solutions. Carpenter bees. Blown lightbulb's absence recasting shadows about the room. Knowing that somewhere Al Yankovich must already be preparing the song "Itch." House understood as a process, not an object. The air clear and morning likewise. Cover photography strategy for the magazine CFO: make the accountant appear dramatic. Hammer dulcimer, crickets in the cat tails, sun barely visible through the humid air. Grandfather of the piano came to Europe from the Middle East. Give us this day our daily head. In Legoland where I was born, there was a fare made dwellin'. Morning as an act of faith. Why you recall this sex act 19 years later and not another (you're literally pinned to the wall, suspended in midair, your legs high over my shoulders, your face contorted with concentration, your eyes meeting mine as if looking right through them). Extraordinary sadness at the end of a project. A boy's pissing into the john on the next floor will sound louder than a girl's due to the greater distance traveled. Fly's buzz turns to static at the screen. Running on fumes. Fanny Howe's poetry as both prayer and lament, as though there were no difference. Children discuss the weather. People cross the mall lot slowly, as though the heat were a filter. At the phone book, a woman in a business suit on a Saturday (too hot for that jacket) qualifies a prospect. The left nostril occluded, swollen, throbbing. Split level or ranch (thousand islands or ranch)? About those islands: locations and names. Fox dying amid traffic, over on the shoulder, blind, bleeding, legs churning the useless air. Semi-palmated plovers at the edge of a soft tide, a million small shells embedded in the sand, sunset behind us, while approaching comes a man playing bag pipes.