Chris Stroffolino, p.3


Most dualisms star the chicken and the egg,
And not just because I am an orphan.
I could wish for better pathos toys,
For clearer fears, and hope.
I could go to college to cure highschool
And preschool to cure the college.
I could cry, “Give me back my sailor’s suit of meditation

and then my beautiful breathless bird
so sunned in September rain
so travelled and highwayed and thawed
in the space where the deer parks wild
and roasting roars another coaster
from the wafer of your kiss
my snug friend of Middlesex and midtown eateries
cordoned off by the parade police
at the police parade, the meanest pedestrian,
the mermaid, the bruja verde, the stains of life
on the mattress of death, motorized and flying
over the river to land on a miracle disguised
by a memory from the distant past.

Self-consciousness stops just short of paranoia.
Brakes are tested on a slippery slope—
Oh my furniture without polish, my bowing bookshelf
My as as by, my the and wild thyme, sea port, port land,
Oregano and rice, my short tall meanings,
My trance of magnets, my song not so beautiful
Lest the record’s stuck (I recorded it skipping),
My ideological horoscope, scatalogical watercycle.
Oh noble opposition with a Tao up your Manichean sleeve,
Oh Jones Beach of the crotch sold to the Time/Life Building
Oh the self that loveth me in the heterosexist dark
And tickles the monogamous moonlight.
Oh competitive fury, oh reason to get out of bed again,
Oh bed of health, oh love like grass
That hasn’t spread across the whole yard yet.
Oh unrooted sod. Do not die just yet.
You who make me want to do everything at once,
Even try my hand at security through scrutiny,
Beauty through the beast, treason through the tyrant.
Oh physical activity unpaid, even seeming ungenerous.
I long to do you and be you
Though not at the same time
And, no, you’re not going to ruin it for me
By giving away the ending
Unless it’s an awful flick in the first place.