DANNY’S OCCASIONAL 9/19/2007
Hello dummies, deaders, dark slights & weird hollows
Freed of all stomachs, dark hallway freedom
to slither in backwards backwards abandonment Hello
Deus, all of masters, and drunks dominae
Dithering in aluminum sleep cabinets impermeable
for die-cast epochs! Dandies with filchers, hands,
O thinkers, we greet you from the good end of Dickens
We greet you armed from the saxifrage, Armitage
deep of Damen, north of North outbellowing
Defective! Defective! Beneath the neon
of the heavy Schlitz sign! Deads! Ditherers! Deads!
Ditherers! Deads! Ditherers! Deads! Ditherers!
Ball and tussle, bring the lead and sing terrible
you skulls falling, skulls of maidenhead
skulls drinking halfway in the rivers
skulls dropping, skulls of infinite brain heaviness
skulls of perfect Chicago nights jawless & tumbling
jawbones of jeweled skull business chattering
on the pavement, skulls dithering moonlight
moonlight firecracker skulls with the hollows all burning!
I’ve heard your black cat science
I’ve heard your scientism and longing
I’ve heard your clickers and noisemakers
I call you, frumps and thrill seekers
I call you nights and bridges
I call you faggots and gendarmes and fancies
I call you middleaged babyless penniless
I call you wrestling and dangling juiceless
forgetful diabolical sleeping warlike
Pall you once and then batter, squeeze and tangle
your dicks dangling your baseless breasts
I greet you in excess of doom-fitness
Light filigree I read somewhere kill it!
Some combination, some trap
Assholes, engines, killers, light material
Fight deadlier clichés fight ugly edifice
Lift and dribble! Tighter, girls, tighter,
boys, it breaks apart when you start to ask,
Who did it? Who did the jackhammer baseness?
Where are the new streets they purred against?
Who did the shuffle and the jerk?
Who did the night sky as we see it, all new
& who did it like a starless gourmet foam?
Who rearranged the paintings and made them worthless?
Why is action all changed to suffering?
Who remade the poems? Who
prophecied the long thought? Why? Who centuried and tangled and ended?
Who made the magazines so hot? And why
not tattoos? Who made them tireless and fauning? And
what about the drinking water? Why
does it froth and dinge? Why does it foam? Why are the cars lifted on neon?
Who made their stories out of equations without
making them up? And what of the men
in the damp black rows? Why the amplifications?
You, man, with the Staropramen
turning your wet guts to hardscrabble,
& you, woman, with the cheap white wine
threading crystal filiments through your brain,
why is your world in danger? Why
do you run to it? Now of all times?
Who firmed up that liquor in your glass?
Who made it? Why does it attack? Why
does it attack us? Why does it seep
into the heart like a dead mattress?
Why is every precision loose?
Hello jerks, hello funnies.
Hello students and favors.
Get ready to be depressed, Cleveland.
Think Vitality, think Tacoma.
Think drown, tickle, fight.
Why are there cracks on the walls?
Why the whole infrastructure?
Why flight for animals? Why in stories?
Why miracles and sheetrock?
Why does it crumble? Why
is my apartment crumbling? Why
can’t I get rich, being decisive?
Hello biggies, cankers, my betters
and all of Halsted quivering tossed
new rivers slopping on Cabrini Green Pilsen Lincoln Park!
Chicago your mastectomies are failing!
Chicago, your Sullivans are aching to be touched
by fearless daylight aeronauts!
Your Ludwigs are trembling, the Jahns
are shedding aluminum in blabbering sheets!
Chicago your rivers are boiling!
Hyde Park is a masterpiece it’s committing suicide!
Wicker Park is running fireworks bursting!
The loop is tangled bodies ascending!
Wrigley Field finally blossoms folding its brickwork shell!
Lichens bryophytes vascular flora creep and stutter
the new landscape is restful furry graphic!
It all happened in the back room there
In that myserious back room with the radiator
A place to talk the back room with the door
that used to lead somewhere they know it her lips
were brushing his ear two lovers conspiring
the little stool creaking she said
during my little lecture here
thank you good night my friends gentlemen ladies
Chicago, the end of everything we know
let’s conspire to make it she said
CHICAGO VERSUS NEW YORK
for Siebren Versteeg
Chicago was a fort before it came
Under attack from the city boosters.
Bigger than Sullivan, bigger
Than song—and any wine
You might have crushed
From the prairie flora will suffice.
You can stand in Grant Park and get drunk on it,
Howl at the lake when it’s frozen,
As if you were new to wine
And didn’t know it came
From such an exotic people as the French.
Lord, did you see that girl
With the shirt like a fabric cross?
Or that man held upright
Like a stack of old Reichsmarks?
It’s difficult to think here,
And not to bury your head in old work.
We tried to write a play this month,
Jay and I, but the play exploded,
Just as New York crumbles
Into a fine white powder
Or three new practicable words
Leading into dark forests
Whenever you try to touch it.
New York has everything.
That’s why we came here.
Yet everything, as you know,
Includes the vast horseshitting business
Of Outer Space, and the weird
Fly-wheel-push-button thing at its center
Upon which we sit edgewise,
Having reached the roiling termination
Of the economic world.
In New York one does not move side to side
Or backwards—one is pushed
Ever onwards, towards Mars, or the future.
Very soon, we will be rich.
I never thought this way back home.
Reading the Approval Matrix
In New York Magazine and finding
Your name there, stamped among the Brilliants,
Gave me some kind of thrill, as if Chicago
Had pulled itself out of the ground
And come to New York
And thought it was a hard-backed sofa
And sat down in it, deciding
Between reading the Post
Or the Chicago Sun-Times,
And only we could see
The skyline’s new elevation