Now, maybe it's dry rot. Or something
like it. Maybe it's the razor blades.
Downstairs, the devout Christian slamming
the doors, just as the doors have been slammed before.
"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." A good functional
Biblical phrase. Bowling was a good functional activity,
Biblical in nature, the cycles, the numbers.
Three balls if it's duckpins, ten frames, sort of
like the apostles, but add a couple. Well, ok, bowling
isn't so Biblical;except for the three holes
bored into the dark ball, the holy trinity of bored holes.
The tires on the car, & the four plugged slashes;
What could they mean? Who's in charge
of the new scenario? Cultural anthropology & creative
writing;What a combo. Perhaps, I had been sleep driving
the whole time, on the outskirts of this reality.
Peering in occasionally for some reason. Jim Wright's,
This Journey. Annie Wright's phone call from the airport
back in May/June 1994.
That other woman always said, staring at her flat tires
those really cold mornings, "Must be
dry rot." I ran my fingers over the creepy fissures.
"Dry rot, yes." Well, then we got Biblical, & went
with the cultural anthropologists, & tried to learn
how to keep score of the downstairs Christians.
Last Night I Dreamed of Annie Goldberg Again
I was sitting backstage, having executed
my perfect stand-up comedy to a small receptive,
retentive, but clean audience.
You rushed back, happy that I had
made a few bucks, doing what you knew
I did best, fuck the writing, fuck
poetry, get out there. Evidently,
actually, I had listened to you once again,
& was now huddled, like a slime mass
when you said, "There are a couple
of people who want to say, 'Hello.'"
& that was true. A short, dark-
complexioned guy with four short
greasy-haired kids, polite, but
nevertheless, greasy, & you said,
not to be repetitious, "Here are the
people who wanted to say, 'Hello.'"
I ran my hand over one of the kid's
heads as I normally do, under any circumstances,
& my hand dreamed of clarifying butter,
lard, what is it used for? The taste of a large chunk
of paraffin embedded in the new
elderberry jelly sitting on the white bread
toast. & I tried to wipe the kid off
on my black vicuna sports jacket
& it left a stain, in the configuration
of a maple leaf, & I wished I hadn't
done that. & Annie Goldberg,
the mama of all the greaseheads
comes in, heavy, but beautiful