Monday, February 12, 2007

Travelling Exhibition

appeared in The Shit Creek Review

Room by room they packed up the museum.
They filled the armored suits with porcelain,
The urns with lesser urns. They wrapped the busts
In bubble paper, squeezing now and then
Mini-explosions, just for fun, like Queen
Victoria's little wars. The paintings posed
A problem. Smaller ones in plastic sacks,
That would just do; but 19th-century
Gigantists--lacking room enough and twine,
Necessity made them inverts, hauled them out,
Hoping for fair and fine. It took a while.
The Judgement of Solomon, a red and gold
Simeon Smythe, took 12 old men to tote,
Curators with post-docs and 3 rosettes
Amongst them. When they propped the painting back
Against the mini-van to rest, it glowed.
A minion in the right foreground held out
A scimitar, prepared to bisect babes
On the command. One of the old men said,
Where is a minion where you really need one?
They left a head of Nero on the roof.
It sneered and skittered as they took the turn.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


Assume a woman. There she sits, bemused,
already knowing she has been assumed.
Women do, mostly. She lifts her long hair
and lets it fall, half flirting, half fatigued.

Assume an incident, the victim slumped
against your hedge, holding himself together.
The cops have come. The perp has fled. You can
assume the rain will not efface the blood,
though something will, if you can hang around.

Picture the telephone. It is prepared
to ring, whether it rings today or not.
If no one calls, you can pick up your phone
to see if it's still working. But it is.

Assume the central man. If vectors run
from woman through the phone to accident,
he'll light them up at night. And if they don't,
he can propose the sense of why they should.
It falls together, when you reach the end.