Monday, September 25, 2006

After Philip Levine

I bought a dollar and a half's worth of small red potatoes
and used one to hold your sewing needles.
I was tired of reaching into your purse
and pricking my finger,
leaving a stain of blood on
your note pad of design ideas.

I had four small red potatoes left. I cooked one
and ate it with sour cream and orange cheese.
The bandage on my index finger slid off into the water and
went down the drain to NYC, where it made it onto the stage at a Doll's show.

I carried the largest small potato to my desk
and stabbed it with pens. You never notice that I don't ask you
"where are my pens?" anymore. For days they have been stuck
into the potato on my desk.

A small number of boys came by while you were
at fashion week. They cut the grass and accepted
a small red potato for the favor. Through the window
I saw them knocking it for home runs in the field at
the end of the streeet. They had fantastic skill, one
of them became a shortstop for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He was back in town last night to visit his
father; his mother had died.

When I picked you up at the airport you glistened like an oiled potato. You
were becoming more famous and necessary. Your contributions to the
cultural dialogue are inestimably worthwhile. My agent called.
They cannot use
my book about
New England gothic literature because
Mary Roach has one slated for release this spring.

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