Friday Sep 22

DubieNorman Norman Dubie is the author of twenty-four books, including most recently The Volcano (2010), The Insomniac Liar of Topo (2007), Ordinary Mornings of a Coliseum (2004), and The Mercy Seat: Collected & New Poems 1967-2001 (2001), all from Copper Canyon Press, as well as a collection of aphorisms, The Clouds of Magellan (Recursos de Santa Fe, 1991) and his earlier Selected and New Poems (Norton, 1983), among many other notable collections.  His writing has been translated into more than thirty languages, and he is the recipient of the Bess Hokin Award from the Modern Poetry Association, the PEN USA prize for best poetry collection in 2001, and fellowships from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.  His book-length futurist work, The Spirit Tablets at Goa Lake, was published serially in three issues of Blackbird. Dubie lives in Tempe, Arizona, and is Regents’ Professor of English at Arizona State University.
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The Post Card Alone
 
 
the boy crusader, saint francis
stooped in his vest of three-penny nails
sits at a dark card table of lacquered azure
awaiting the wounds of jesus
while sipping a black tea with the holy turkman, future
sutures infecting
like fat around the trusses
of a baked goose, soon
the moon delusional
sequesters the simple tune
a yankee-doodle last day,

and war without taxes,
a volcano, the bishop’s stroke,
fever and the winter sabbath,
stroke the young arab girl, death and max’s,
the doge, a golden buick,

more whores, lost scarred sine
of protons, cook’s stargate closing,
not a philosophy of rain,
the one and the many—
earthquakes again with a turk,
a bluish starched shroud,
a frayed cuff,
assisi is a long ways off, a bridge
broken with lanterns—surely
a Saint, it was not enough....
 
 
 
Wrong Sonnet of the Political Right/Left.
 
 
Richard Nixon, laughing-gas coloring his lips
blue with white blotches, is
exchanging, in this dream, worn socks
with me. He is also passing
stacks of gold coins to a mechanical panda
who tosses the coins into the skeletal lap
of an Empress Dowager. Nixon muttering
governing ain’t pretty.
 
Depression-era green glass
flying past this Quaker statesman
whose brothers are bleeding at the mouth
much like the Dowager who holds
the dripping hide of the panda
which she peeled off
with an element of grief
and a dull pear knife and her wooden teeth.
 
 
 
The Boat
 
 
You kissed me sweetly on the bald spot
of my head—your lips
cold with tea
you had been drinking all morning.
You said your eyes hurt—that the tennis ball
was colored that weird green
so to be visible
above the clay court but not
in the long grass beyond the fence.
You said your eyes had shellac
on them. You have two
whiskers growing from your chin.
You remember still the photograph
of smiling African children
who did not ride the riverboat
that burned
terribly beyond the swamp in March.
You thought maybe two more weeks
of this and the long Labor Day
weekend and then you’d wish
we were all dead. Not the whole
fucking planet. Just our country
and two or three others thrown in…
 
 
 
A Military-Academic Complex
 
 
The simple windshear off plutonium petticoats
and up in a rioting air, thirty-three thousand
greek centimeters from Earth—the bozo belle aircraft
docking for fuel at the sock-hop
for interdisciplinary storms
N by NW—or big sister innocently
feeds high octane fumes
to a sweet meat of hurricane pecans.
 
Servings for up to eight Eskimos,
mechanics in the Enigma Four vestibules, black tin
hangars where the graffiti reads:
you flyboys will be the death of us.
 
Cold War nostalgia and x-rays of the thorax.
Oppenheimer in the hall corridor coughing…
the astronaut’s gold-plated crucifix
in the adulterous bed of white knuckles—
 
marque nueve, allahu akbar, in mid-air
between tenements the chopper wash
off the long-faced bird’s-nest, machine-
guns splattering through the windowbox
of azaleas, at mid-air, sweeping
gunpowder, North/Northwest…. a locust-faced
helicopter…
 
not william burroughs fresh from posing
in the coffee shop, fresh
from the coast of Mexico
having gainfully shot
his dead wife in the adam’s-apple. A whole generation’s
meek
inheriting a brown heroin off the night street.
 
Even the eight foot tall sotted mouse
in flight from the gringos thinking
she is dangerous peoples?
 
The flamingo knitting needle buried
in the eye of suspicious passivity. The ghosts?
The ghost queen of monaco saying
well if those flyboys have the flu
everything is still possible.