‘Buyer Beware,’ by Steve
By Steve Dalachinsky from scraps & spontaneity 5/22/23/02, NYCthe lines under her chin say she’s agingbut her body tells a different talehome follows the lightfollow the light homethe light follows homemy belongingsbelonging to no onelorca extends a prayerthe links in his chain mail like baggagelike rosary like prayeri pray & send chain letters everywherelike luggage& place my belongings in a suit caseto wherei put on my armor like a suit & reach into my pockets for small changewe are dressed for the aftermath of the party& come from a neighborhood of broken promises & pridewe 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 dreamwhere the light follows home yes the light follows home i pray & send chain letters everywhere& wear my suit like armori place my belongings into a cookbook & my hand into the unknownfavorite recipes of the bourgeoisiefavorite recipes of the squalidfavorite recipes of the papacyfavorite recipes of the revolutionfavorite recipes of the peasantsfavorite recipes of the middle classfavorite recipes of polka musiciansfavorite recipes of gunnery sargeantsfavorite recipes of bovinesfavorite recipes of messengersreaching into the unknown i pull out an applereaching into the unknown i pull out a fishreaching into the unknown i pull out a handreaching into the unknown my hand gets caught in a bottom feederreaching into the unknown i pull out a bottlereaching into the unknown i pull out a messagereaching into the unknown i wonder who’s been reaching in before mereaching into the unknown i pull out a cookbookfavorite recipes of the unknown we are dressed for the aftermath of the partywe come from a neighborhoodof pride &broken promiseswherefat jealous ex-con gypsies with gorgeous wives& falling pants that show their crackscarry folding chairs& ouija boards with florida plateswhile threatening to extinguish our livesour lives distinguished from no others& gone like thatfavorite recipes of the gone like thatfavorite recipes of gypsiesreaching into the unknown i pull out the light which follows me homei am a failed rhythmbaby& you are a link in a chain of mail that has yet to be delivered at the end of a dreamthe 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 partytho the party has just begunhe is dressed for the beginning of the partytho he has arrived right in the middle it is the middle of the party & the light followshim home he is a rhythm baby who soon will learn that neither he nor his poemsare wantedreaching into the unknown i pull out favorite recipes of unknown poetsi grab a squalid handa bowl of fruita barbecue pitan open mass gravemy 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 scaredhe calls me a GARBAGE MANfailed baby of the rhythm of the worldfailed child of the universe’ planhis wife is not that prettythere are lines in her face which is caked with thick pinkmake-up & pock markstho her body tells a different taleshe is dressed for her afternoon with BOBBYtho you’d never know it by the lookshe now wearsit’s bad luck to stay here she says bad luckas i apologize for still seeking rhythmharmony melody & bliss reaching into the unknown i pull out apologiesreaching into the unknown i pull out forgivenessreaching into the unknown i pull out a lorca of chaina chain lettera message for BOBBY a prayeri am stuck somewhere between being & non-beingin a book of recipes for the unknownfavorite recipes of the unwantedfavorite recipes of the non-beingfavorite recipes… recipes for non-being it’s a slim volume i am dressed for the aftermath& wear my suit like broken promises & pridei come from a neighborhood where the lightalways followed me homewhere the ivy & snowball bushes flourisheda neat & handsome neighborhoodwhere violence was never ever anticipated& robins often sang i can never go back there againno matter how much i dreamfor i don’t have all answers& we don’t have all the answers& i don’t have any answersfor i am only one slim volume of recipeswithin a voluminous unknown & i’ve barely gone from .0000000000 00PS to .OO OOPS reaching into the unknown i pull out pieces of the unknownrealizing that what remains unknown is vastmysteriousuntapped& 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.