Things, beautiful belongings are spectators and own
Rain then comes, revealing like and that and wanting to and
seeing, wanting to see, like saying hello, like saying hello to the most polite
of strangers who come to live with you
all of them, every one, carriers of
And the smart ones, the ones who
know what they’re doing, they just look that way, you
trust them, join them
making soup out of flowers, their tongues on your tongue
so that bees follow you now too and
dance confused songs on the
secret crown of you.
Dark, helpless little loosenesses: you love them because they’ve neither fallen nor
risen, they linger and they’re cool. They wear black shoes and they make
black shoes cool. They quit smoking, they make quitting cool;
they say rock solid and you pay up they say wiped out and
you think the world, it used to be so much easier when
they were around and hung out, over there.
Later of course you die and you wake up running. You are in
this heaven and it resembles an airport, but you lack the ability
to be bored. So it is economical for God. He can put you
anywhere and you’ll be happy. You’ll think this is where
you should be:
Not dirty but happy. Not alive so not about to be dirty. Not dirty, so humble.
Then falling, through the dark where it rains, happily you
unto your body, your beautifully unbearable body.
So not afraid of slipping, not afraid one part is only
loosely related. Not afraid knowing
how, to act in what way. Stretching out your rain: from being restless
or to rise in the manner of waves.
Cling together, first month of the year, shining cuckoo, brown
creeper, little finger, little toe, becoming
a person, working temporarily for another person, in
a lantern factory, one who notices eight old lamps in a row,
two of which their shades are water stained, they
stood under certain ceilings and flickered, amazing the whole structure
hasn’t burned down.
Then why not a blue storefront next to an orange storefront, my favorite
bookstore, the paint peeling back, the place smelling of cat piss, always a
Then towards, the act of, from appearance to recitation, from staying to
giving in, to be very precise: not roses, green thornbranches budding forth out of
rosebark, black speckled leaves, compacted petals the size of babyfists
in front of the window where I sit typing this while I listen to you smoking
in your sleep.
Then wear a hat. Then wear a yellow shirt. Then unbutton the third button.
Then say where you are going. Then say I know where you are going. Big wooden
doll on the coffee table. Piles of books and documentation. Then save as much as you can.
Then crownspace, where you keep your
holiest of thoughts as you are
Or maybe stay up late after work. And smoke with your manager. Test for low blood
sugar. Talk about Argentine manufacture. Hats and scarves. We’ll go to bed
and continue this in our sleep. We’ll earn fortunes in our sleep, we’ll spend
fortunes in our sleep. Unbutton my shirt and we’ll go to sleep, I’ll be typing this
while I listen to you smoking in your sleep.
and how to act, in what way, centering and stretching out
Hugh Steinberg is the author of Shy Green Fields (No Tell Books) and Sorcery (Dusie). His poems can be found in such places as such places as Crowd, VeRT, Volt, Spork, Cue, Slope, Aught, Swerve, Fence and Zeek, as well as other, more multisyllabic places such as Ping Pong and the Boston Review. He teaches in the graduate writing program at California College of the Arts, where he is the faculty editor of Eleven Eleven.