Poem for October Shootings

Another autumn comes
to get the trees stoned,
to squeeze your hand
with thin and late light
a little on this street
that’s shaded by all these
ancient sycamores. You love
the scraggy sounds
those giant leaves
make when, dried-out,
they fall, and run like rats
down the street when wind
comes around that corner
that’s actually a dive bar.
The soul spittoon’s only windows
are narrow glass cinder blocks,
castle slits, so you’re spared
from seeing the dead/dying
who sit in there and watch
a small television
in the moist underworld,
who sometimes shoot each other
dead-for-real just outside the door
of this cave establishment,
because someone else just said
what they were already
thinking about themselves
in a cruelly honest way.

A Few Short Paragraphs about Walls

I am the camel-colored spackling sealing the bullet hole in this public white wall
on this busy street in the center of this town. This is Busytown with all the anthropomorphic people who are sometimes animals driving cars and sometimes
animals committing felonies while eating sandwiches or just after. Imagine. You put your finger there, stranger, into my filled tan hole. I think I am punk. I believe
I am punk rock. I am, after all, a bullet hole. But I am old.

You think this is a place where someone almost died, that the bullet could have gone through a human heart, which is really only thick red paper. You think, What a mercy.  But you are wrong. The bullet did go through a human heart’s paper. Thick. Red. Wet. You forgot ropy. Heart that is a lantern of blood. And the bullet is still in here. It is still in me. I am the bullet hole that talks. I don’t want to give the bullet back. I’ve just gotten used to it, the feel of it in me like language, or metal type in an old wooden box in a sealed room. It is a form of possession. That’s all I will say. Velocity gave you to me, I say to the bullet in me. A lover will make such stupid statements of bald physics. It’s like the things people say during sex.

I am a public wall that has a desire to retain some dark and decent privacy. So I place one side of me in a place you cannot reach. The dark side of me is buried like an ancient rib deep in the shadows of the building. It is all so Biblical, to be a wall. Touch my outside all you want. Touch the outside of my wall like Southern people turning around a meteor in a church. As Russian people once turned
around Sputnik and touched it. I am rough-textured. You can touch me and stroke me and accuse me.  You can drive your car into me and just die. You can shoot bullets into me. Nothing will change my anchoring into this darkness. Only if an earthquake occurs and I fall on you, will you know my inner side. But then how will you tell? See how cleverly I have designed this scenario?

I am the stale bread that you hold in the plastic bag in the middle of the night,
in the middle of your kitchen, in the middle of your life, as you calculate
its weight over and over before throwing it away. I am the cubic zirconia of dread.
Something comes down in your mind like a wall then. Something which allows you to throw me, living bread, away. How am I, bread, alive? That I will feed. That I will colonize a gut or be colonized by primordial forms of life. If left to stale, if left to the colonizing interests of air, the spores and tiny carriers of ladders of still
evolving things. Blue plushness will grow like velvet on my skin of bread. I will
suddenly have antlers of blue mold. Pale green overgrowth textured like the strangest moth will cover me like a blanket. Mold and its cities. You
want me, the bread, to stay in this plastic for eternity. There is less guilt if I can’t escape the plastic wall in which you have immured me, and which you call, ridiculously, a bag.