Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Emily Kendal Frey

The Train Dreams It Is Flying

into its competing image: the river. But
the river can move faster and with more
fluidity than it. Both wish to be the most
dark, the blackest. No matter how hard it tries
the train cannot propel itself away
from the frozen water. The scenery snaps
in half and a tree rises up as silhouette,
briefly dividing the machines—
train and river. The train rushes headlong
into whiteness. So this is it,
what speed is. An outline. A broken branch.


At the MFA we decided
that a wheelchair would be
more fun. We justified it
somehow and waited
for the docent to bring it
sparkling and silver from behind
the coat check. It dragged someone
else's scarf. Turns out
viewing art is much more
enjoyable in a moving chair—
you got me right up next to
big textured waxen pieces
and pushed us inside
the carefully scattered installations.
Plastic figurines. Flies. Some dirt
clung to my pant leg as a
souvenir. But the biggest
thrill was you moving me
from room to room.
Like viewfinders
we clicked through each scene
with measured ferocity
and I left the museum
convinced it would just get
better and better.


Why are you bent on existing
as a superficial being?

This is getting embarrassing.
You're a crocodile shoving your

snout up the pond's ass.
It's scummy. You actually

fancy the trash
hanging like a prize from

the tree branch. What
no bird would take

for its nest. You're all
dazzle. No weight.

I could blow on you
and you'd condensate.

Marauding as a mannequin
boy-man, you forget:

I slept under your sleeping
breath; felt the slap of your

hands on my ass; looked
at what you looked at

on the subway; bought
your mom tulips on

Mother's Day; made eggs.
But the game of late

is your circus-fake (no
popcorn even) card

on my birthday. Thanks for
that. I'm eating the shreds

of sentiment. Cherries. I'd forgotten
how you always write in red.

Emily Kendal Frey grew up in Seattle and lives in Jamaica Plain, MA. Her most recent and shiny work is forthcoming in DIAGRAM and Sawbuck.