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Winter 2019/20

Joe Weil


The orange suspended
in a blue space
one white cumulus cloud beside it

and then treachery or self absorption
or perhaps some political ramifications:

Still life with cloud formation.
Still life with corpses
which, I suppose, might be redundant

An orange placed out of context can
be a revolution
depending on how many important people
want to argue about it.

But I am sick of the arguments of important
This is my poem. I am drawing a big dopey
pelican to fly out of the cloud and
swallow the orange.

There is an orange in the pelican's maw:
six tiny needle fish swimming in the
dark brine of the Pelican, flashing their silver
scales, a Florida License plate, the head of
Zeus, a bowling ball, a C.D.
of Jim Nabors sings the Lord's Prayer
one old penny, corroded, and

well, I'll allow you to add to the list.
The orange begins to illuminate
the dark. Whole cultures grow around it

All of them built on the slavery and toil of
people who don't have time for this silly
shit. They are mopping your floor.
No. Wait. They are told to train the robot
who will replace them mopping the floor.

This is what we do to each other
so an orange on a blue sky with cloud formation
can facilitate a discussion among the smart.

I want to retire into the blue. Do I want to be
the Pelican, the Orange or the cloud?
What does it mean to have choices in
what appears to be a cheap knock off of a 
universe by Magritte?

Not sure it means at all. The nice man
from MIT on NPR says the bots
will put no one out of work. Somehow
it will create jobs: better jobs
It will free the workers. We are always
freeing the workers.

For two dollars you can get on a bus
and see my painting.
It is in The Whitney. It is in the eye
of the beholder. It is not yet finished.
Even though it hangs where the child of
the out of work janitor is being "Educated"
on a field trip:

I told my sorrow: you are on a field trip.
Shhh, be quiet. Don't get angry.
The middle class will call you inappropriate.
Shine like an orange child.
Burn their eyes out.
Burn their eyes out.
Burn my eyes out and lead me to the pillars
that I might press my hands against them all.



Joe Weil plays piano, makes instruments and teaches poetry at Binghamton University. For twenty years, he was a tool grinder, part time pianist, and furniture mover (a bad furniture mover). He now does his best to not move anything if possible (especially pianos). His latest book is A Night In Duluth (NYQ books).


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