28 April 2008

la abuela habla muerte

someone's abuelita died. donning our blue rubber gloves, we unceremoniously lifted her tiny corpse which was folded up like a child in the fetal position waiting for comfort.
but in the dream version we dont have a gurney for some reason, and carrying her of her humble house becomes a procession and we are lifting her light bones high above our heads, me secretly wishing she will just be assumed right there into heaven rather than a cold metal locker and a leering mortician downtown with pumps full of formaldehyde.
we are getting her into the back of the ambulance and something slips, her body tilts in our arms, her mouth parts and spills tar and ash that covers us like a cloud of damnnation. the bystanders scream and retch, i can hear it splashing all over the pavement and it is cold soaking through my shirt but aint nothin else to be done except moan the same low song and wring our hands all covered in black death.

26 April 2008

riverside portrait I

he is thin as thread and grizzled as the flagstone sidewalk hes settin on. 35 and lucky to be alive, he preaches now to his brothers down by the river who are always sneaking slugs of colt forty five between their amens.
he absentmindedly traces his trackmarks, watches those wretched men wash themselves with water full of the sky's clouds. when they catch a hint of their staring reflection they slap the still water away, bring their hands to their whiskered faces to see if it really could be true, if the drinkin and whorin have really cut lines deep as oak bark across their sunspotted skin.
they ask him for soap, for lye, for lotion. he just shrugs, spits.
'them stains dont wash off. youre jus gonna have to answer to yer tally one of these days.'
each looks down his clothes, noticing the traces of gray that stay now after scrubbing, after bleach, even after stealing new ones from walmart: the cotton is spotless for a moment but
something telling always seems to seep through.

22 April 2008

for judas

the other day I met the Big man behind the biochem lab where I'll be doing research this summer. he smiles, gestures, welcomes me as a new acolyte; projects are discussed, chemical reactions go up on the white board. i politely resist the urge to say that
it strikes me, increasingly,
how quick stainless steel and plastic entirely replaced stained glass and iron crosses as the ornate monument to a myopic obsession with invisible things. these new alters are maintained (much the same) by devoted, celibate young monks in robes of white; now their gloved hands hold not chalices but pipettes, with bunson burners to light the sacrament.
maybe cause i am not a man i cant revere this dissection, vivisection, the deep satisfaction of gutting, cutting, pulling everything apart into tiny pieces, separating gray into black and white.
even the smallest molecules themselves cannot have their peace: we drown them in magnetic fields till they are forced to let go of everything and fall apart.
once the last fragmentation is complete, he at the helm turns toward me
so delighted in all this golden hubris,
with his pale face bathed in the green glow of so many machines.