Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dean Young – First Course in Turbulence

I’ve had this book for years, but one of the things I’m doing this summer is to reread books I’ve had around. I hate the idea that there are many books on my bookshelf that haven’t been opened in years.


Dean Young - First Course in Turbulence
Archaeology


The wren says, Let’s fly really fast
then veer sharply but the man just sits.
The kettle says, Let’s just sit here and
get really really mad but the man’s
been reading about ruins again and

he wants one of his own. Maybe just
a jaw to put on his desk to fondle
and think. Miraculous and what’s the point.
Also it’s May so the man goes outside
and starts digging and soon he’s uncovered

what looks like the top of a stone head.
Let’s rest awhile, says the music
coming from the radio then, Let’s
crash an airplane into the Everglades
but by now the man’s realizing he’s

started another thing he doesn’t want
to finish and the hole is shouting,
Something’s in me, get it out! So
after a couple root-popping, clay-
prying hours, he’s exposed a whole face,

pupils plugged with mud, lips straight
as if the teeth are meeting beneath.
The neck, he has to use his hands
to get to the neck, it’s two strong
tendons and then what he hopes aren’t,

but are, shoulders. Let’s forget all
about this and explode our brains, propose
the daffodils. Watch what I can do
with my shadow, says a tree, spooky huh?
But the man’s wondering about this thing’s

expression, is it about to laugh or
pass some terrible judgment? And what
about the arms? Holding a spear, scroll,
lyre, some farm implement? Already
he’s bleeding when all he wanted

was some fragment as a sort of proof
like the moth wings a woman sent him proved
she never wanted to see him again. What
kind of reasoning is that, asks the garbage
truck, gnawing. What do you know about

perishing? There’s always this point when
he becomes engulfed in extravagances and
nearly too dirty to walk into his own house.
Let’s eat mud and make mud, suggest the worms.
Let’s be nothing but big bellies above

the planet, advise the clouds but the man
knows he’s got weeks of work ahead, he needs
to find out if he’s got some god here
or just another swindling dignitary,
he needs to know if this is the king

everyone’s supposed to worship, the one
the taxes flow to from this weedy
province where we’ve nearly given up
all our appropriate dread. Horses
in the night, glittering breastplates

of thunder, red eyes blinking
on the radar weather maps, tell me
who I am, tell me what I’ve become.

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