The tug on my arm but soon spread Perhaps now they could prove me there. I've been watching the sky closely & for some time, My hands in it, making crude, beautiful doves. Sometimes a sprinkler spits An arc of silver water over me, Hissing, bisecting. Half of a thing As much of a thing as ever can be. If they have to water it, it's not a real field. It's a yard, connected to a white building. Once, I was inside a building. Tooth, your shadow the color of the hour. * There was a smell of some spice, I don't know what it was called. I wanted to take a bath, change my gravity; Feel my skin loose & leave a ring. The man said they only had shower stalls. Those were the days everyone lived In fear of a fierce spouse, Paddling through the steam, Something in her hand: Hair-dryer, toaster, leaf-blower, Plugged-in & zinging. And you there, stewing in your own Sauce, whistling an oldie. * Deaf by dawn & if dawn comes Day may break--bellowing Below thing, be low, sing, Slinging blows, blowing slang Songs, bowing. Bring out the big Amp, vinyl torn, plywood exposed, I think the tubes are ready, sir, The dew I flicked on them leapt & left * Steelsleet, the weather from the recycle tower Less yellow as it lowers, a film of its tinting The buildings, tinning the yards with first light. I've seen the hours of train from above on the bridge, Each car brimmed with rusty blades, broken bayonets, Naked bent frames of things. . . .I can't tell. . . . Can you smell the crimson? And the cars behind me, Metal mixed at the proper ratio, careen dying to be there, Gasoline hemorrhaging, pistons punching themselves out. The barge gravid with metal took its miles to pass as I stood On the bank not saluting, thinking now, now what am I going to do. The first blast of the opening ore-oven decays all decay. The scraps shine. The smelting starts seamless, top down, bottom up. Hollowing. Hello, thing. Hell, lathing. Howlingly singing holes. * So what are you going to be? --A ghost. I stole a white sheet from a line. Leaves were stuck to it, I'll Punch some holes in it, I'll Jump from the balconies Of bleached buildings
From Radio, Radio by Ben Doyle, published by Louisiana State University Press in 2001. Copyright © 2000 by Ben Doyle. Used with permission. All rights reserved.
Ben Doller is the author of Fauxhawk (Wesleyan University Press, 2015). He is an associate professor at the University of California, San Diego, and lives in North Park, San Diego.
Date Published: 2000-01-01
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/tug