Tuesday, April 20, 2010

'wide blade' by Brad Hamers

a shovel was needed to move forward
the only way out was down
the conversation was
whether the cake his gramma left in the oven was what killed her
or did she die while baking
nothing was left without fire written into it
nothing in our dialogue jumped high enough to break earth
we couldn't get any closer to dieing than we already were
all of us tried
some of us with pianos and moving straps
some of us with boxes of wood and nails
the rain was paint thinner on Pine st.
all the scuffs run
jumping off planks
into the gaps (and under cups)
we were flipping coins
trying to pick our candy (how much sugar to put in the machine)
the only way out was in
we stood tongue and groove
talking our way around the security light (in each of us)
that each of us shone
mine was strobe
having a fit on the lawn with a burglar mask half on
we were each openings
cut for different size tongues and eyes
for different amounts of breath
we would each die at different times
each only using up so much air
a shovel was needed to move forward
the only way up was down
the talk was mold on the town was growing in the ears
of every last corn popping safely in its pan
did she die because the cake caught fire
or did the cake burn all the evidence
because there might have been something worth keeping inside
we talked mostly like night-lights
never coming unplugged
talked around the sewer openings and manholes into ourselves (by believing our steam was poison)
by avoiding ourselves
i found me for a second shouting from a balcony of memory
fleshy parts of the time that stuck
we were all gum under ceo's desks
chewing every last piece of paper closer to the bottom line
trying to eat our end(s)
every flower in the room was in 4/4 timing
every chair sat facing the question
closed shut and embalmed
every flower had a credit card receipt (never signed)
we sat down with our eyes somewhere else
we each held death in ourselves
some on a tire swing
some in handcuffs and moving straps
some on several tied together bungee cords
the conversation never jumped from its branch
we were all the same brand bird in one tree without leaves
each a different amount of sky away from flying
each an open question caught up in its clouds
like fishing net
like stock on the next hot selling breath
like the next most attractive moment
we each held our tags out
like what amount of this conversation is wall is fortress around the topic
where do we get off not dieing with her
where does all the system (of doing this) that burns us melt
(the car runs like a candle) (the exit's coming)
we get off
shooting around gas money
shaking ourselves upsidedown for a way to get there
and suddenly it happens
our cake starts burning in our ears
the rings around our eyes tell our age
we were born head first facing up into this long dirt road toward everything
they called it nothing everywhere else all the same
it didn't matter how his grandmother or my grandmother died
it was what it meant to those still alive burying their death
a shovel wasn't around
we rendered it no longer needed to move forward
our slowly poured tap milk on ice melts
and backwash becomes sustenance
we all hold each others breath together
to get off
(only death can come)
going only towards what can make us come
i walked toward a box on a corner with free written on it
the american dream was something to sleep in
an empire queen bed with a mosquito mask
i jumped as high as i could into the shovel
and broke earth
wallet under my fingernails
today's color sugar under my tongue
i sit plenty with death stuffed full of living
the cake says try harder
the chip on my shoulder yells dip
i die face first looking up screaming without a word
(they slapped me to see if i was birthed)
the shovel was used to cut me out
we reached the right shape to finally put it in the oven
we all walked away thinking a thousand miles of dirt road out
every unspoken word now had handlebars (with streamers)
to ride straight down a mountain
the cliff we each question ourselves as
i didn't know if i was holding on or on firm ground (holding them)
(or some variation of myself)
mostly it jumped back and forth between both
any way is really the way out
any way is really the way out

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