COMPOSED ON A CELLPHONE WHILE DRIVING
What is the well-assembled woman ordering six
lattes in the half-assembled Speedway Starbucks,
only partly furnished, steel veneers unburnished,
tables unfinished, meant to tell us?
Same thing that this old guy’s overzealous
flat top means—inlaid with a colored A for Arizona—
land of A and overzealoutry—at times we get
carried away with our legislation and our dashes:
that the world is weirder, not as finished as we think?
It’s easy to forget our stink sparks too—it speaks
and arcs electrically into the gathering dark;
says: yo, the world you know is only ribbon thin: see how it
spins out in front of you in a Honda Fit
and flips and comes to a stop in the geographic
city center, a Cinnabon heart of swirled traffic?
In the trailing Dodge Dart a woman dials 911
to summon up the Jaws of Life (a trademark
of Hurst Performance, Inc.: a type of hydraulic
rescue tool) to extract the human meat from
its metal shell, Seashell City’s man-killing giant clam
working in reverse, expectorating the universe.
It’s okay. You are okay. You circumnavigate
the spectacle. It won’t take long for the day to erase
what you’ve seen. By you I mean I since I’m the one
with attention split between the road and phone,
which we all know we’re not supposed to do,
and here I do mean we, as in me and you,
texting anyway. Are we just dumb husks
or by this halved attention do we mean
to transcend our dailiness?
And if I were while tweeting to collide
with a cross-walking teen, tweeting, selfie-preening,
or a limousine embalming a sexy celebrity
whose nudes had just been leaked, then this life would end
and another would begin. Until then my phone
in hand confers upon me lightness, separation
from it all, the crawl of broken hearts and cars.
Through it I believe I dial in to God who answers me
with blindness, a slight unkindness, the kind you see
in eating-ramen light, in ravenlight, sun seen intermittently
through a wheeling cloud of them. A loud round of them
echoes through my reverie, a feathery reminder that supersedes
the observed world, the halflit one, world of halflust
for the halfling hanging half out of her thong, her shrill song
that wanders in and out of key cheerfully.
It says: listen up you chipper bitches,
this is not a picaresque. I’m not an odalisque.
Nothing here is tusked nor melting into dusky
forest light. This is our world, our lame light, our task;
some days the quest is to get six half-caff
lattes for my half-assed colleagues.
Sonja wants it breve which means,
in the context of American coffee butcheries,
it’s made with half-and-half. It’s gross. I know.
Dude, don’t lade me with your creeper stare.
Are you fucking taking notes? Fuck that
and your half-dicked reverie! & she came at me
then and we met in combat
and I was beaten and then set afire
and in this manner the poem ended.