Fishermen’s nets hang from the mouths of giants,
your eyes, flamingo, and your gray full-breasted flank.
Cranes are robbing steamers. At the top
of the gangway: "To your berths!" Cows’ feet hang
like the broken teeth of a comb. Sparks erupt. Waiters
pin diamonds to the tablecloths, and at Hvar,
in front of the movie theater, someone’s begging
to return the wallet I lost. Dikan got
to Vera. I took Branko’s sister. Years later,
when we were smoking Kents: "When will you
When I graduate I’ll travel around the world. The blacks
hurled the junkie from the deck because he
urinated. He didn’t lift the broom. You fought
with your grandfather. You couldn’t
write. You survived because of the cold weather. You’re
to walking on ice. On Crete your skin blisters,
on huge gray stones still warm in December. Doctor
Jamnicki is coming back. If a hen is tied up
as a chick it will stay tied up. Nurses won’t bite her.
During the night she walks with a jug on her
head, on the parquet floor. No paintings in our house.
The walls are round. Your hair is horsehair. Che xe
viniù da vicin, anche te ga crollà tutta tua roba sporca. Mi?
Chi te ga crollà? And the anxiety of lifting the lid
of the piano, the flash of the eyes. The procession
at the feasts of Corpus Christi, huge bicycles
on the rafts. Jeti rides logs in the chute. Ashbery
at Cooper Union, 1986: "And if you did/good that’s
fine, but if you did bad it don’t make no
difference, you’re equal/same as the others,
and the devil don’t give a shit who you are or
whether your name has an umlaut to it." Flowchart,
Carcanet, pg. 100. That’s why you can’t manage
And spitting and joking, no te capici chi voga.
Pretty, but she doesn’t dress well. Little balls,
seething beads, they swallow them for the little one.
Mákar, Kaic, tu Dio che sii Stabile. Meglio un succo di
pompelmo. And then again Hermes in Olympia, stolen
pajamas on the boat in Pirius. Throw yourself on the
Isolani, pescecani. No way. No way at all, not
even if you want to. Who will get the milk? You’re
the lederhosen. Ma Dio, chi xe viniù sta sera. Dai,
dai, butta xo ciapin. Did Hera avenge him
with fried polenta? Mozart wasn’t shy,
he didn’t stop staring. We kill English
kings. We’re feeding the cartridge clips. Lynda’s father
laundered money for the Mafia. She’s walking with her
writing Ghost Money. The humble one, the silent
chicken is swallowing cubic meters of the sublime.
The thing is, parents have to limp. Or tell them
you were crawling over emptiness. Over everything
Everything in drizzle. Everything in the snowbound
tied to the Mediterranean. At the second lake, yes, I
at the composers’ hut - last year he was bitten
by the tsetse fly, he didn’t come back from Africa.
The same one who said you have to splatter
your ego everywhere. I forget his name. I have
little crocodiles on my tongue, without a story.
Beetles are nibs. The secret addition
to human hair. You see, if death catches me, the white
mass will stay, pudding we’ll fight over. Supply
is not the problem. What is it then? Flickering
lights in Janitio, an Oriental regard? Railroad tracks
crushed, arms ripped out. In the Venetian mirrors
they licked the connections. No te xe vecio, te ghe diría,
si, che te diría. Mai da un lado. The atmosphere
brought back the Breceljs and Beblers. The Bogomils
vanished and married. This is our jamboree. And
we won’t dig up any flowers, they’re protected.