Sunday, October 17, 2004

SICK BIRD by Jim Carroll.

The positions we use when making love
Determine the next day's weather

Tomorrow it will rain
Then heat lightning by evening

Every time the telephone rings
A green sea turtle dies
And a phlegmatic guilt chants across your day

The side of your head
Where you part your hair
Dictates the direction
The trees lean
Left or right
In the yard out back

A poor Mexican teenager in the Texas panhandle
Is suffering from a venereal disease
And as he urinates in his bathroom the pain
Is too much to bear, so he smashes his closed fist into the plaster
Leaving a hold there and he discovers a shelf within the wall
Filled with stacks of fifty-dollar bills left behind by a drug dealer perhaps
Who departed in haste and so he is rich for a lifetime
Because of pain and urine

A blond woman with a silver tongue stud and gold rings
Above her left eye lights a cigarette with a candle
In the VIP lounge of a club in Minneapolis
And the candle drips wax to the red carpet, somehow causing
A lone fisherman on an upstate lake
To slip on some odd substance, falling overboard and drowned
Eventually eaten by his own propeller
While a child from a lake tribe
Kneeling in his canoe
Watches in distance and mist
Unable to do a thing for him
He mutters, "That poor man,"
And paddles through the reeds
Skimming the surface with a plank
Continuing to harvest wild rice from the surface of Glacier Lake

A popular character actress removes her Emerald brooch
After a banquet to raise money
For the twin benefit of Los Angeles runaways
And the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet.

By her simple actions, undoing the clasp of the brooch
The Dailai Lama stubs his left foot on a cabinet in his room
At the San Francisco Zen Center's guest house, 800 miles up the coastline
Causing alarm among the Roshi and initiates, and a marlin-blue swelling
On the big toe of the gentle Lama, who meditates the pain to Maya

While in a cluttered shop in the thin streets of Milan, italy,
Its floor filled with rosewood shavings
The air cramped with Oak dust,
The man who built the cabinet
On which the Dalai Lama's foot was stubbed
Slumps over his workbench with a cerebral hemorrhage.
He is dead.
It had been growing a long while in his mind.
It was simply a matter of time.

And a young Norwegian film student thoughtlessly
Decides to title his short film
It Was Simply a Matter of Time.
It has nothing to do
With time, however, nor the dead
Italian cabinet maker.

A mosquito sucks the blood of a post-Soviet Baltic girl
And she falls in love with a balding Armenian
Who assures her that only girls with strong sexual drives are chosen by these insects
The mosquito dies and provides a small meal to a starving bird.

That bird's song awakes me at 5 A.M.
I shiver with a sudden sense of dread because the mosquito
Which it ate was poisoned by the blood of the girl which it bit
Because she was imbibed with lies and designer drugs and so the bird sings off key
As it jars me from sleep, and the room is folding over
Darker as I rise and I know a change is coming & bad & soon writing this poem.


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