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
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
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
— March 16, 2015, 10:24 am