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Steve Dalachinsky: “Garbage Man”

'Buyer Beware' by Steve Dalachinsky

‘Buyer Beware,’ by Steve

 

GARBAGE MAN

By  Steve Dalachinsky from scraps & spontaneity 5/22/23/02, NYC

the lines under her chin say she’s aging
but her body tells a different tale
home follows the light
follow the light home
the light follows home
my belongings
belonging to no one
lorca extends a prayer
the links in his chain mail like baggage
like rosary like prayer
i pray & send chain letters everywhere
like luggage
& place my belongings in a suit case
to where
i put on my armor like a suit
& reach into my pockets for small change
we are dressed for the aftermath of the party
& come from a neighborhood of broken promises
& pride
we are failed rhythm babies
& have more rhythm than we need
& lorca is a link of a chain of a prayer like the lines in her neck
in her room at the end of a dream
where the light follows home   yes   the light follows home
 
i pray & send chain letters everywhere
& wear my suit like armor
i place my belongings into a cookbook
& my hand into the unknown
favorite recipes of the bourgeoisie
favorite recipes of the squalid
favorite recipes of the papacy
favorite recipes of the revolution
favorite recipes of the peasants
favorite recipes of the middle class
favorite recipes of polka musicians
favorite recipes of gunnery sargeants
favorite recipes of bovines
favorite recipes of messengers
reaching into the unknown i pull out an apple
reaching into the unknown   i pull out a fish
reaching into the unknown i pull out a hand
reaching into the unknown my hand gets caught in a bottom feeder
reaching into the unknown i pull out a bottle
reaching into the unknown i pull out a message
reaching into the unknown i wonder who’s been reaching in before me
reaching into the unknown i pull out a cookbook
favorite recipes of the unknown
 
we are dressed for the aftermath of the party
we come from a neighborhood
of pride &
broken promises
where
fat jealous ex-con gypsies with gorgeous wives
& falling pants that show their cracks
carry folding chairs
& ouija boards
with florida plates
while threatening to extinguish our lives
our lives distinguished from no others
& gone like that
favorite recipes of the gone like that
favorite recipes of gypsies
reaching into the unknown i pull out the light
which follows me home
i am a failed rhythm
baby
& you are a link in a chain of mail
that has yet to be delivered
 
at the end of a dream
the young poet enters the room with his friends
& i ask “how are you doing?”
tho he looks clean & is dressed well he replies
“not so good, steve – have any answers for me?”
“alot.” i answer “but if i tell you you wouldn’t listen anyway.”
“you’re right.” he says
 
he is dressed for the aftermath of the party
tho the party has just begun
he is dressed for the beginning of the party
tho he has arrived right in the middle
 
it is the middle of the party & the light follows
him home
 
he is a rhythm baby who
soon will learn that neither he nor his poems
are wanted
reaching into the unknown i pull out favorite recipes of unknown poets
i grab a squalid hand
a bowl of fruit
a barbecue pit
an open mass grave
my stomach fills with morning birds
& the gypsy tries to steal my apple
as he steals my life
goddamn BOBBY MOTHERFUCKER
he says his name is
& i’m scared
he calls me a GARBAGE MAN
failed baby of the rhythm of the world
failed child of the universe’ plan
his wife is not that pretty
there are lines in her face
which is caked with thick pink
make-up & pock marks
tho her body tells a different tale
she is dressed for her afternoon with BOBBY
tho you’d never know it by the look
she now wears
it’s bad luck to stay here she says bad luck
as i apologize for still seeking rhythm
harmony   melody & bliss
 
reaching into the unknown i pull out apologies
reaching into the unknown i pull out forgiveness
reaching into the unknown i pull out a lorca of chain
a chain letter
a message for BOBBY     a prayer
i am stuck somewhere between being & non-being
in a book of recipes for the unknown
favorite recipes of the unwanted
favorite recipes of the non-being
favorite recipes…
 
recipes for non-being
 
it’s a slim volume
 
i am dressed for the aftermath
& wear my suit like broken promises & pride
i come from a neighborhood where the light
always followed me home
where the ivy &
snowball bushes flourished
a neat & handsome neighborhood
where violence was never ever anticipated
& robins often sang
 
i can never go back there again
no matter how much i dream
for i don’t have all answers
& we don’t have all the answers
& i don’t have any answers
for i am only one slim volume of recipes
within a voluminous unknown
 
& i’ve barely gone from .0000000000 00PS to .OO OOPS 
reaching into the unknown i pull out pieces of the unknown
realizing that what remains unknown
is vast
mysterious
untapped
& not that big a
deal
  

Poet/collagist STEVE DALACHINSKY was born in Brooklyn after the last big war and has managed to survive lots of little wars. His book The Final Nite (Ugly Duckling Presse) won the PEN Oakland National Book Award. His most recent books are Fools Gold (2014 feral press), a superintendent’s eyes (revised and expanded 2013 – unbearable/ autonomedia) and flying home, a collaboration with German visual artist Sig Bang Schcmidt (Paris Lit Up Press 2015). His latest cd is The Fallout of Dreams with Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach (Roguart 2014). He is a 2014 recipient of a Chevalier D’ le Ordre des Artes et Lettres.

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