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June 2009
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July 2009

after they did the job, they left

My apprenticeship in verisimilitude began one steamy day in thunder.

I took it for granted. I took it as one might take an Irish setter for a walk.

As one who might say "as one" without having ever been to England.

Mister, nobody looks back once the audience has left the auditorium.

You had come around in the right idiom or had the shabby demeanor

Of an article. Of loose clothing. Of a summer's night. Of a sensational

New show that everybody's really hot to see but nobody's got the ticket.

Then flubbed the special tones a guy might need to buy off the bigwigs.

It was all prose. From his socks to his bright brown overlapping eyes.

in the care of prominent men in the city

What's good in him is not bent.

Straight-forward we'd say lose the pirouette

the hop skip jump from 21 to 19 or 17 to 20 to

balloons full of implacable urges.

What's good is the ordinary slight

morning. Birdsong. Stop snowing

"a forebear of the great king David"

unmixed in. Master. Thought. Meaning.

Take what's there to make it. Oh. Tell it as

if I were your grandmother or better

her cat her thin kitchen pot her just-pricked

arthritic thumb.

nevertheless, since it is in us without exagerating

Trying again. What we ...

The sparrows of our glances took off.

Leaving us damp. Unmediated

Personages used to life without trees.

Suddenly famous and silent.

No longer mouths full of dictionaries. So

Great for one thing. Then one thing more.

This bird nobody knows. But you can't say

Indeterminate fragments of the orchestra.


No. Not here. We couldn't look each other

In the eye without our faces would you know

during periods of relative stability

He'd try to distract me from the internet.

I want to remember my father as a young man.

And the young men he knew. Before that war.


They're spoken truly. There was a large sky behind them.

There. A signal from many heroes. So long so longingly

Long. The day spent like a handful of pennies. Wheat

For the tractors. These experimentalists must all starve.

The modern turns its own earth. As if there were.

Many. Conditionally.

A field is not a paragraph. In prose the dance

Takes. An instant liking to roads.

I left a mess
to be cleaned
up by others.

They would curse
me as they worked
many days.

Then to look at me you'd think a long time about entries

Having been settled by the side of the road, we picked

A few blackberries and some good lies to tell. Over and

Above the ones we were.

Trying. To read so far. A surface.

It is. Trying.

In the way young people today don't know the word so well.

They think it's all up to them.

What? What did you say? Whatever.

The world, for instance, wears them.

But how could any of us know it? So unlike a tree or a hill.

Trying again.

maybe, too, they will stand

Bringing something along beside me.

It's an artichoke in pencil. Five dollars.

About how these aspirin dissolve one

At a time in my gullet. And then they

Tell me I've got a while to live. So I go

On living not only among these green

Vegetables and stones but in the cool

Air I love that burns fossil fuel metal

Rumors and expectations of lovers on

Any branch. Green or bare. Going on.

To a thunder made of water going on.

their pleasure in all the items

So what if the natural world is a consolation but was not put here for us. We're of it.


So what if the natural world  was not put here for us but is a consolation. We're of it.


Had this been an accidental experiment. A long-standing summer tree. We're of it.


You can carry me only so far. Then you'll have to put me down and let me walk on.


Long line toward a sort of prose. Brings to mind something our father said. Oh.


Beneath the many appearances of the natural world here. So many human notes.


nobody gets to quote l. z. now and then

If as meaning comes closer you find a buzzing

In unexceptional places. Two feet in front of the

Unused fireplace. Where a nose meets the cool

Window glass. It wasn't post-modern yet. I was

Never much of a clock. But I was trying to get

Somewhere. If only you had joined me shown

Me a way. Any one way. We sent our payment

To 4 Trefoil Drive without knowing "of a /

light trefoil for the light" was coming at us. This.

We're a little brighter for that. But not so useful.

Meaning it doesn't lift us much toward esteem

of others. No paycheck in that. Just green light.

This is a revision of the poem "everybody gets to quote l.z. now and then" made after reading Copyright Notice by PZ