Plain American Language

I cut a sliver/of WC William's finger
and placed it inside/my philosophy...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

"Sometimes a thought is more like a bad translation" is Probably the Over-Presiding Theme of This Poem

Sometimes a thought is more
like a bad translation
a line of Marilyn Hacker's,
a quick look at the bottom of a magazine's website,
cruising through her poetry
while friends of mine practice

a duet of Brazilian music
(guitar and clarinet, quickly
drowned out by my own
slowing down, quickly
crashing into sleep. It's

a rare occurrence, such
in-between wakefulness,
such false sleepiness. But
how familiar this drive
toward closing my eyes,
what music would play under
my eyelids, I wonder...).

What's with Brazilian music
and beauty? What's with
clarinets and stringent sounds?
What's with a pretty voice that
calls the cat's attention,

slinking around like a stray thought
that trips and sputters
into that part of the brain
where we ask ourselves,
What was I thinking about just then?

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