Big Boy

I was having a burger
At Big Boy’s
Thinking about

I was feeling
To my ears
For all the work
They have put in
Over the years

I was wondering if
The Evaporator
Will come for me
Or if I will go
To him

I was feeling normal
Eating the world

Thinking about
My neighbor’s house
On fire
And about my own
Inhabited by flames

For the Earth
It was just another day
Severance pay

Who invented laughter
And ruin?

I was
Overcome by the need
To buy
Baby clothes

By the need to raise up
My children
All over again

I was negotiating
With the speed
Of light and dark

Missing the jug band
Of my family
Farflungians all
I be long

A minor deity
Was sitting
In the booth
Over there
Talking on her cell phone
Giving dubious instructions
To nearby streams
Bad advice to the deep shadows
Of ferns

I was feeling
The world bigger
And more evil
And more gorgeous
And more populated by
Than I’d imagined

I wanted
Above all
To de-monetize
My dirty hands

Wanted the rest of my life
To be
A sporting event

To dance
My heart away
Under the midnight sun

I wanted to be at dockside
To embrace
Victor Serge
Andre Breton
Anna Seghers
Wilfredo Lam
And Claude Levi-Strauss
Arriving from Marseilles
Fleeing the Nazis
In March 1941

“More or less endowed with consciousness
Particles are really all
We are”
Serge would say

The same Serge
Who later marries
Laurette Sejourne
Who saves my life
Much later
In Mexico

Generations of catastrophe and delight
Over-extended empires
Heads hung in shame

I was sitting there
Inhaling fire
Exhaling ice

At the very heart
Of things
Said Virgil

Ooo a snake slithered across the placemat

I saw keyholes
Of eyes

Oh sweetest ones
I thought I’d maybe
Hold my ground
And fly!

                              -- New York, October 9, 2009

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