Coney Island Avenue
Beans and pumpkin, seeming to lend ingenuity to the otherwise concrete garden,
coil up lavishly out of immigrant yearning, mixing pleasure and labor,
as if vegetables were hovering at the margin of a curry.
This deliciousness whose traditions have become so eclectic,
long beans, shoes on the stoop, and in my ears Kazim El Saher, his chorus
tracing forever the marvelous alarms of the sonic, the doum and the
tek and the doum doum tek a tek doum tek a tek. Beside the gelding rolling
in the dust, the limpid tosses of its wavy mane, the stained glass windows
of the baptist church. It’s there the B68 bus catches me with a groan and a squeal
of hardcore diesel, rolling past Caribbean life — red Elmo doll
clutched by Hispanic man in his 30s — his green plastic bracelets — he’s yelling
as we go past Sonali grocery like discovering nothing in his pocket as it has all flown away.
Transfer d’Argent a Haiti. International calling center penetrates global immodesty
borne from Iraq and Siam, suspended by telephone wires from moons in alternate cultural
systems: electrical analysis of pistachios, desi kulfi, tortillas
at the Good Luck Deli. BANIA. Masjid Um ul Quaa, Siberian Pelman corp.
I scintillate at the window of ice and it is all for you: Shandar Sweets, Giant
Detail Center, Office of Mughal Waterproofing, exhalations and filthiness falling
among the vegetables, entertaining notions of a scarf dance on a subway.
Blair Mazzarella Funeral Home, a girl’s braids come undone, her mother’s earring
a gold tooth. [cocktail] lounge Bukhara catering hall Quicinera Las Mariachis Raja Realty
Honey locksmith smartbeep beepers kaloshi real estate. Adam & Eve Unisex —
(a warrior of either sex in the distances which are American) — Pharmacy, Farmacia,
Anteka plus Urdu and Bengali.
Recharge here — Lahore fashions — Bahar shishkebab chum chum, aloo chat — [goat pic]
halal meat khoobsurat beauty salon (ladies only) — one black headscarf, one white head scarf,
one yarmulke on a head of greasy spikes like circumcision of a black horse
by the Urdu Bazaar. I decorate the forest of my regard, caressing the route: Lung Wah Kitchen,
Weinstein-Garlick-Kirschenbaum Chapels, Pak-O-Hind, Russian, Kosher groceries,
Rabbi Hecht’s Esrogim Center. The longing to be modern and sheltered and different
and insane and decorative as Hecht’s skullcap company, Judaica seforim gifts & religious articles,
abysmal elevation and cantankerous filaments. Sweet Art’s Stitch & Stictch, Full line of beans.
Adult novelties: “Intimate Fantasy’s” — Visions in wigs — Hat’s Plus, Freund’s Family
Shop. A gasp of laughter at desire, and disorder, and dying, and Gigi’s Wig Salon.
The violent alabaster of curiosity yields to the sky of undulant spiritual contamination,
the luminous enlacement of brilliant dryness and the lump and crush of archness. Kloz
Klozet! Sukkah Depot, Yeshivah ohr Shraga Veretzky Shorashim Monuments sushi Kosher.
Immense flapping. Extremely hairy arm on a thin woman, a mother. Assymetrical face
of a yeshivah girl by Miss Liberty Restaurant, her simple vagueness. Is your throat dry with
the deviousness of following? Mittelman’s Supermarket. Straight wigs, pearls. Kosher Bissaleh.
Tiger Mart. Exxon Shocks and Struts — lean, achieved, ravished, acute, light, lissome in
whispering and salivary in intent. Taci’s Beyti. Bertolino’s. Moshi Moshi
Glatt Kosher. Welcome to the age of independence in a leopard dress and orchid nails.
Big! white! Jackie O glasses! Kish Koosh playgroup, the bamboo veils of intemperance
flapping down with tigerish yaps over the one and only Sahara Restaurant by the World of
1-800-cultural collision. Red Square Restaurant. Hadn’t the cannery sent forth perfume?
Hebrew National Hot Dog Special Touch lingerie like an elephant in a skirmish. Siren
Fresh beer. Angeliakis Construction New Times Good Year Tuxedo Palace.
Does it look magical or realistic, the view from the bus window? The historic duel disappears
like an ape at night, Who is “they”? The Westerners, of course, the tumbling vipers
aware of history as rods stippling the dip of an imperialistic road map. Rasputin.
Super tan. Thinny-thin. 99 cents the limit. Plaster Gallery, Kiev Bakery. Exciting
delicious historical Sheepshead Bay, candidly. The past, the sensations of the past. Now!
in cuneiform, of umbrella satrap square carts with hotdogs and onions of red syrup
blended, Ritz look, bobcat service, rubbish removal excavation pelvic exam pap smear blood test
cold soda! And then the paralyzing rush of emotion: grace infuses whirling faces
with a disssonant gaiety.
light on the gill
where the gill fluttes
slide — drip — smudge
gill heaves, flaps a
back up, spackles —
affected lateral sliplight
and the light on
the brain, spackled —
stupid didactic gill
infinite number of rosy prosy gills —
the tiresome thing about
the tiresome thing about
the tiresome thiing about…
breathing — the
the blunt unlucky
monologues — the fluting
demagogues — the
skinny plangent lambent planks
of creaky teak in the crying eye
sloop — jump up on —
disgusted — extra fancy gills.
mudpuppy lost in a bank.
sludge of funny money
looping dumbly around the other dummies.
the rich dummies and their TV glasses.
the fat loving dummies and their favorite limits.
the tiresome thing about men
the tiresome thing
the tiresome thing about men as deer in the bodies of the living —
and as bear-eaters —
is that they all have the same influences!
locked in slime, locked in the same slimes
flat as a line
on a locked french mouth
made to look like gills.
caught in chicken wire
with the white shit
and the elegance
and all the feathers, and the products, and the daddies.
stuck in the craw: a perfect gill:
a perfect cyclops
lusting after light,
or a perfect cossack
storming the people:
“my” people (kachunk)
pretty pretty gill,
gill and drug.
sturming and churning.
less than four million years old —
Becqause the music is twinkly (for
the bloated corpses) we have a concrete
need — for cormorants…
who teach us not to hate —
the hemorrhoids filling up the sound holes
in poetic space.
We weren’t given words to make decadent
“word art” — feathery boughs spread over water,
as a sauce —
and full of cicadas.
We weren’t grim enough
to make our piranhas shatter.
Nor not grim enough to cadence down
into the ugly ugly dim mud —
the luminescent dim song
of strained peas and dirty conch.
Spattering its toe,
dragging it through the liquid silver —
liberating the elves and me —
and our happy happy gills.
And then a slither through the seaweed
a fully normal