Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Issue 57, September 2015)

Simone White
Three Poems

Excellent French of the seminar,

many early years in language training,

of the language lab, of the contest.

Then French of the tutor. Bad French

Of the baby class, the first grade Mademoiselle.

French of one’s own Fanon translation

Also the French of jealousy of tokenism,

The soft sexism of the academic job market.

What might be, yet never is because.

On Sunday one scrubs the toilet, in French.

French of the kitchen and of Colette,

of the nicest suitcase you’ve ever seen in Paris,

in her brightest trousers, drunk in Pigalle.

French of correct sense memory,

The sweet smell of familiar cock.

If you can still say that today in America,

cock. Familiar or favorite.

Do the French stand alone.

— March 7, 5:48 pm

You could get pink eye,

one would think,

putting your face on on the subway.

But, anything for Eileen.

An outline of face

preliminary to appearing at the sad gig

in the endangered garret.

Languor, like headrags, unfashionable.

At last, life is ordered the way you wanted

with once a week cleaning,

a child sleeping on his side (tiny man!),

chocolate cosmos renounced

As now,

in retrospect, the wicked nonce

happiness of cut flowers

all too plain,

solitude comes back on you.

Taking leave of the dynamism of organizations,

ad hominem attacks wash over you

from another dimension,

the mind wanders to Robert De Niro

at the club in Atlanta.

That would have been fun.

What do you know about capital really?

Perhaps the intelligence

characterized by willingness to stretch,

not proud of having learned the study habits

 of the white shoe,

is offended by burrowing actions.

Taking offense a lot, then.

The action of the day burrows.

The day is taken up in most bewildering

deflections of informational assault

by poet revolutionaries.

In English we don’t say

I can’t care about it.

I can’t care, coming out the side of your mouth.

Where did you come by

your taste for blood.

— March 9 & 10

Spring Poem

Unless there was a turn in the way of things

all would continue to vibrate

with foreboding. Hazard littered

the pink tree bud.

Hazard would ruin the festival of the peony

if nothing was done, and soon.

An odour of scorched broccoli

followed you down

Fulton, then Clinton, then Second Avenue.

The olfactory sense pricked up

in concert with descent, its due

in the order of consciousness

coming round like psychosis

sooner or later.

Perhaps this person does not understand

the extent of my exuberance.

I was taking secret photos on the subway

that week of young black men

all in black and flowers;

trendspotting it was,

as well, an extended meditation

on the troubles

or where the testosterone package

has led. Francesca the bittersweet,

one expects to be visited in the nerves daily

by the tragedy of early middle age.

And yet. Who expects to break down

under the pressure. Not me. Ha.

Oh Lord. One resents His invocation

in the poems of others.

It was frustrating

my wish for a biscuit, a true biscuit

of White Lily flour

as I’m living now on cake

and meatballs.

— March 16, 2015, 10:24 am