Tuesday, May 24, 2005

It Ain't About Me...

...it's about my friends, two of whom are having big days. First, the good news: Dwight Codr is defending his dissertation this afternoon, on his way to completing his doctorate and setting up shop as a new professor of 18th Century British lit next year at Tulane University. Those little critters down in New Orleans are lucky dogs.

Then, the bad news, though it's all relative: my friend Ann just left for a summer in her hometown of Madison, WI. So, bully for Madison, but it sucks to be me. Ann is another of these spectacular poets I've met in Ithaca, on top of which she is my willing accomplice at all manner of fair-to-abominable movies that no one else will put up with. She also has the brilliant habit, of which I am undisguisedly envious, of summing up her reactions to movies in single, hilarious sentences. Most recently, after Crash, which I liked and she didn't: "I feel like Paul Haggis is sitting at his typewriter, calling over his shoulder, 'Hey baby, can you help me think of something racist to say to an Asian person?'"

Part of Ann's genius is that her pop cultural obsessions and her poetry need not be exclusive. So for all y'all Looney Tunes fans out there, and for all you poetry journals that aren't getting what you're missing, and for anyone who bulks up the credit card debt with things you don't need and know ahead of time won't work, and for anyone who has ever felt like you repeatedly make the same mistake or spend your life chasing the impossible (but secretly enjoy this), here is:

Special Overnight from ACME
Look to the edge and heave
of the road: spot that bird
kicking up its heels, dust—purple
headdress of feathers, beak
the orange of Seville—choke
on the gum of longing: it just won't be
swallowed. I see pillows straining
with down, thick broth, my teeth
gartered at its pebbly thigh. I lose track
of myself, my spending. Boxes pile
on my porch, seething, each scheme—
catapults and earthquake pills, rocket
skates and lassos; the French
forks and knives only good
for what one's already got—
stuffed into the thick privacy of cardboard:
The UPS man says, Sign here
and, Whew, sure is hot. Hot as my stomach,
I could slap it against his face
like an ear, a limp hand. Something's dying
in most of my ideas, maybe me,
but I was born ready. Sometimes I run
in place, in slow motion, face
the mirror: there's the stretch of my face
and crooked jaw snap. This is me
in 2-D, fierce as anything in this desert
but nothing so succulent as this noisy
flash. So light the fuse, trip the switch.
Please, it's all happening. More. Again.

© 2005 Ann Buechner. Don't be stealing the flava without consulting the source. If you're interested, I'll see about putting you in touch.



Blogger Dr. S said...

I heart Ann's poem a lot. In Ithaca the UPS man came to my house so often that he recognized me on the street one time, as I was walking away from home, and stopped to give me a package he had been about to deliver. She's got the feeling of all that just right.

8:37 AM, May 25, 2005  

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