LA | NY A Special Edition of The East Village

Alan Gilbert

Docking bay

Let's just say there's no road
that can get me out of here fast enough.
So give me a couple minutes to set up
my emotional pup tent. Remember,
there's a difference between cheating at cards
and not knowing how to play in the first place.
This doesn't mean ideology is solely the domain
of specialists. Neither is it hip-hugging,
but instead is a kind of sand in the wet waistband
of itself. Or a stubborn lash in the eye
scanning the butcher shop's pink counters.

By the time the conductor shouted "All aboard!"
we'd already started to shuffle in that direction.
At some point during the race,
the dogs lost interest in the battered rabbit
going in circles around the track.
Making billions of calculations per second,
but still disconnected from moment to moment,
like a historical strobe light. Epileptic dialectic.
Crews of underpaid janitors scrub
the exhaust residue off the launching pad
without the prismatic rainbows sunlight casts
in puddles of leaked gas and oil.

Frames upon frames upon frames. Um ...
lots of stuff. A window briefly without brand names.
I'll pass on the high art allusions.
If you wipe your hands on faded blue jeans
after eating greasy potato chips, you may leave
dark streaks. I'm convinced the person
in that TV commercial was flirting with me,
though in retrospect I may be mistaken.
I vaguely kept waiting for something to happen,
but a poem doesn't always come after.

NY Index