From When Dylan Went Electric
At times the camera seemed to be revealing
its own inner workings as subject & object.
An argument with memory.
Pan slowly over rainy street.
Dark salt waves pulse.
The news man’s plastic face suddenly grown so sad & strange.
The world outside was subject to constant paralysis – curtains were invented.
The radio turned in on itself
(see camera above)
& beauty refused abstraction,
squandering all its silly money at the pawnshop,
reveling in the flickered light.
Never before had we been able to say what we were doing as we were doing it.
We told all our friends & then they told us what they were doing.
Often we were standing in lines.
This is how I remember the 21st century.
Listen: some kid’s drawing of an exploding flower.
The poem you wrote once about her eyelashes.
How you looked forward to coffee.
All the things that had nothing to do with disaster.
The town with its one water tower.
The cancelled sky.
James Cook's poems have appeared in various print and online
publications, including The Cortland Review, BlazeVOX, Lake Affect,
Scissors and Spackle, and Colbalt Review. His first full-length collection, Moments at Point
Light, is in manuscript. He is currently at work on a book-length poem
titled The Croatoan Songbook. He lives in upstate NY.
Monday, January 28, 2013
Sunday, January 13, 2013
ARS POETICA: SETTING UP AN AQUARIUM
You go from a disclosure
to an announcement in 4 gallons.
Friends, your cigarettes
look like tiny fish food morsels
and are killing our fish.
You of course want proof.
There is a goldfish society
sunlight will find. A bright
red flag. Science in the daylight
will not reach a definite conclusion.
You are horrible
thunder over the water.
When you’re setting up
an aquarium, your teeth snap.
A half an inch of good,
flat skipping rocks.
Your speech patterns
will become simpler over time.
If the fish lack heads,
1 can diced chilies.
A color scheme
based on nature.
Across the street
there is an aquarium
I am writing postcards
with text and 2 old men
fishing with dynamite.
Scott Abels currently lives and teaches in Honolulu, where he edits the online poetry journal Country Music. He is the author of Rambo Goes to Idaho (BlazeVOX, 2011) and Nebraska Fantastic (Beard of Bees, 2012).