from In the Middle of the Road -- Joseph Lease

Preferring toys that fill the world with glass or questions that we look at—failure's breath—preferring toys that spread the world like rain or questions that build voice from piles of hair—

a poet invents a courtier. A poet invents the image of a courtier. Understanding something of classrooms, lunch at the faculty club, meeting so and so for a drink, he invents a courtier. Inventing a courtier, he tries to convince me he understands Ficino. Each is in love with a divine image (well, maybe)—

this is not healthy—there is nothing left to taste—it's soft, your promise, you promise softness—(what has Christ to do with that crackhead? Well, in each of us there is a spark of the blah blah blah. How about murderers? Yeah, murderers too) the AK-47 went on TV:

"I'm looking for my father"—

silence equals the hazelnut in God's palm—little boy pudding, some cheap novel, some cheap vacation—my sarcasm took me on a date in the parking lot—

"You better understand that happiness is a rain-crowned subject, the obsession with happiness is a self that can't wake up, you better recognize the private library of rain and wind, rain and wind inscribed by the obsession with happiness—you better recognize that you can't see, that the rain says we don't know what to call it—"

and he was going somewhere and going nowhere, and he was asking something and telling something, and he had known the bounce, the clench, the rules—there he was, and there he fell through clouds—and there he was, throwing his face into his grave, the phone rang, glass rubbed raw by fantasies, blue glass rubbed raw by rain outside,                  bright red

                                                                                        berries, mucus-slick, bobbing on water— there were no lies, there were no angels: there was only falling, he was falling and his name was water and his eyes were wind: I will be a tractor trailer or a bronze butterfly or a newspaper: my promise will jump like a plastic bag in an updraft—voice breaks voice, self mocks self—

                                                                                        what you know of rain or lies or time could overthrow the state or trick a boy. So windows are the stories that you break to sniff the light and drip through veins of stone—I never knew the road, the dying year, that gorgeous boy who perished in his prime—

I never knew the blue car in the sky, my voice kept slipping on the lake's glass skin—you know I fell apart—as roses do: I know you fell apart—let's change the song—let's answer every question burning here—let's keep our movies underneath the dirt—

Bare trees and thin sunlight: he considers believing—in what?—"stark dignity"—he considers believing. Shall we gather at the river, shall gather where the sunlight prays, shall we gather at the word capitalism, where the cold wind teaches kids what education is—but at his back he always hears the carrion crow, the wind and rain, etc.—

The woman behind the counter is washing a plastic container—she's reading the gospels—

She looks like she's twenty but she mentioned her kids—

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