Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2017  Vol. 16 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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That Century
for M.

The long back of the woman thrusting
to a wallpaper that is coal tar, the milk
glass breaking in a riot, colloidal
and suspect for the chemist who knows
scruple as a strict measure of aspirin powders.
The woman’s pelvis also thrusting in the mundane melody
of mee-graine, the coccyx sulfur
aurora of a bowel itch after dry heels of bread
are dipped in the gravies of a stringy-beef, hot
in contrast to the pencil-straight lines of cold rain
in the woman’s hair—rowing faster now
in the faster river. Later, George Orwell washing
his privates in the used water of an enamel basin.
He says to her—did the suicide Hart Crane
admire the rosin on the felt tip of the q?

We are leaving the dance hall to smoke
in the lower tub room, the zinc tub
filled with a hundred blue eels while
a fat Polish woman scalds them by pouring gallons
of clean gin in with them. This is where the migraine
begins for the woman above, she’s fainting
into the arms of George Orwell who makes not
a single sound the long while that they are making love . . .

Some say she fell to the floor and continued groaning
to unbalance the moment
and George went to the corner and smoked
his clay pipe—his lungs were rotten
as if with nesting mice. His friend
picking herself up off the rug said,
“The sun would soon rise fully into the coal tar. And
the cabbage polemic had no real place
in the poetry of this age.” She died in Spain
after a horse with an abscessed tooth
kicked her twice in the forehead.

Snow on the sun. A very weak sun setting in the east.  

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