By Rich Ives
1. How I Live
The police car sits empty. It’s a definition of Mozart.
Three stooges (not those three) visit my father with a bag of weed seed. I don’t suppose their antagonism groans softly.
In the diner, the sergeant plays with the honeyed garments, a rag and bone prediction awaiting anointment in a jealous maudlin display. The cruel ones use pity.
But it doesn’t add up. I collect newsreels of the endless funeral, begin exciting the sag of someone’s failing trousers with mere survival. I can’t seem to champion timeless music anymore.
A sleepy shampoo, interrupted by bees. Their yellow and black stripes seem entirely too narrow for their wide blustery bottoms. I don’t just think of their fresh noise calling across the canyon. That’s not why I’m outside, but the sergeant listens anyway. He’s supposed to keep me from doing something, but he doesn’t know what it is. Only I know.
So maybe I’m the designated muscle-bound gorilla. Maybe the police car isn’t empty. Maybe Beethoven and too many deputies. Maybe I’m here for a vacation from my mob.
Enchanted weeds in the temptation garden. Funny, I didn’t remember my father’s birthday.
Then, simple as intentions, I’m gone again.
2. How I Used to Live
I don’t hate my father at all. I just visit when it’s time for a change.
Each time there’s a moment when I realize I could go home now if I didn’t live here.
The police car is still empty because the dead man can’t walk.
It has something to do with authority and what happens.
The squirting sergeant still blubbering about Nancy.
So I’m ordering honey and laughing out loud. I’m alive with beer. I’m decadent with good cheer.
Then, simple as law, I’m not.
3. How I’m Going to Live
The police car so permanent it’s bronzed. Stravinsky. Gorilla guests for breakfast, with and without uniforms. They don’t even seem like me.
Authority happens. I’m past that.
And the dead man now is me but saunters and struts without a weapon. Three honey pots caption the weeds like new stooges.
Listen, pop, I used to do bimbo enough for both of us.
I’m past that past. I’m happening after now. Empty as law, I’m here because I can’t be there anymore. The stripes don’t add up. I’m not simple anymore.
Newsreels like falling trousers. Lieutenant Orphan, the sky’s a rule. You have to appreciate the honey. You have to pay attention at somebody.