Winter 2005-6

Bob Holman

(But Please Don't Mess With My Man)
--Elizabeth at 65

Speech Ed says is bad song we whisp or
Never the brain shall circulate freely midst the air
As when this one night standing precipitously agangling

Might these words sense make back when they would
Of a sudden coast
The hurricane of well up
Not a moment too soon not a moment
Too late as when the x-ray hits the fan lots of glass
Everywhere except in the Club of Bologna on Brooklyn

How bland food burps, to remix the scratch
Now it sounds like all new Captain Beefheart
Sounds like your man RL Burnside who whisped
All over the monkey of Holly Springs which signifies
Absolutely everything, a keen note of red wine

Suddenly it’s very secure
Socially that is, except then the
Rolling Stones cleave in with that Have you seen your mother
Baby, standing in the shadow? crap and I remember why the Beatles
Always touched me, no matter how many corpses float by
Speaking of touching, we seem to be doing an inordinate amount
Of it in our waking hours, just as
We do an ordinate amount of “it” in our sleeping ones

Try it. You sleep now, and I will watch your elegant form
Crack out of bed like a lobster sheds a shell
And you wave to me to come on and fly like a beagle
The very first dog in the Washington (NY) County 2005 Bird Census

So who cares if our friends run into bears, and our enemies spend years
With penguins? We who love the formerly extinct ivory-billed woodpecker, that’s who.
After all, it’s six months till your income
Will subside like Otis’s tide, which is when the secure checks will run in like herring on a highball. Your show will redefine art, defy the museum construct and still make people think things like green black ochre
night pink punk clam dam spurn brown flicker. That’s why I On nights when you’re waving I don’t wave back even always. It’s so great watching you stir the air. We’re talking a gesture. We’re talking destination, I’m in no hurry,
vermillion orange blue.

Bob Holman is High Priest of the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City, formerly directing the readings at the St Mark's Poetry Project and Slam Host of the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. In addition to producing Words In Your Face for PBS, which won an International Public Television Award, he's won three Emmys and a Bessie, and produced a five part series United States of Poetry for PBS. He won the American Book Award as co-editor of Alooud: Voices from the Nuyorican Cafe (Henry Holt, 1994).



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