Plain American Language

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

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Donna Lee (for my brother)

This is a drop of the past, this
strum, so fast
how it rides my brother's solid
fingers that sped as strongly
as they clenched, how they ride
his hair, his cool, tireless jaw
how cross his eyes looked
till that quick caress, how fast
it took to turn notes, licks
how cross how untired
that mouth that cawed
his sweet dat dweets, songful, each.

No longer mourning those blues,
brother how cross those notes
turned how fast they ride
behind you now crooning
lonely, lonely to new tunes
blues of the past no longer
this is rock this is elegy
no longer, this music, like water
how fast it rides, how past
it must feel, lonely drop
in your eye, how cross it must be
how cross your face gets how
it rides into your fingers like
the insides of flames when you reach
out for your six string case.


The only thing I do to keep myself
cool is open the bedroom window
and turn high the ceiling fan.
The rest of the apartment swells,
slightly, on the precipice of summer,
as in the sluggish way the mint
creeps over to the window. It
is growing flowers (the mint), which
I've never seen before, since
I'm new to gardening, planting,
most things wild. They are
white and huddling inside a pod
(each) and hinting at something
though I can't really tell what--
green turning into green; a lilac,
if only just to say the word and hope
that is what it is, something white
like forgiveness ought to be
when colored inside someone's face,
inked around the edges, a depth of frame,
a finish of red, the sunburn after
standing outside for so, so long,
wallowing and sublime, like plant life,
like a perpetual blues song on play.