Yang Chu’s Poem 184


Grapefruit, a few, a few grapefruit


Like Christmas ornaments on a spreading backyard


                                              Aesthetically, dark golden specks

And smears


                             The yellow globular shape that changes


            As an appearance in perspective as one moves from

A pepper bush with red pods toward a rust and pine-needle

Covered tin roof of a small garage.



I as a child am hungry.  No food in house.  The situation

Is designated with a strange word, "Depression."


I did not dress.  Still wearing my department store cheap


             That from much washing are losing the boldness

Of their assertive blue strips. 


No food.  No fat-back bacon.  No biscuits with harlequin hairdos.

No.  My father. The failure, hid to sleep in a neighbors' kicked-out-the door,

Tropical island wicker chair in the back room where bed springs leaned

Over the picture of General Lee on the wall.


Shall I pull a grapefruit, bite through the thick skin to taste the juice.



(In our postmodern world is this glimpse of a narrative a trap door.)


Should I depart from memory, call it an unsuccessful attempt, or was it

A successful attempt.  But I am blind and deaf to critics.  But there is a

Subversion of the sanctioned social order and late capitalism in a

Closed couplet of Shakespeare.


My mother brings a piece of bread torn in half by a hand.  A spoonful of

Peanut spread over the surface.


Is this "I am" poem in which the "I" refuses to disappear.  Who was I. Where

Was I.


Make it new. Make it a gap-toothed smile.  Make it a roll

In the aisle.  Making it Hadrain's beautiful boy lover drowning

In the Nile. "Make it New," Pound's foolish words.


Listen to what is being said about the goat through the tire

Of Robert Rauschenberg, or Keats' Chapman Homer, or

The pets of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, or the Diaspora, or

The sound poems of the Four Horsemen, or the priest's

Sexual abuse of choir boys who carry candles, or a Nuyorican

Grand Slam Chapionship.


In the schoolroom, one of the elite, he bought rather than bringing

His lunch, had candies to pass around as payment for someone who

Did his mathematics assignment, sits as a dark-haired Irishman

With pale blue eyes as an Iroquois in a Southern gentlemen frock coat,


Whispers to himself:

                                  'Mon cher Belzébuth je t'adore."    Je t'aime

The Devil, the

Satan of Job before the interpolations and change from the truth to

The falsity of the happy ending.   He sung: "I'm in Hell, and my heart

Beats so that I can hardly speak."  He tells the beauty queen that sits

To him and rubs her leg against him, "A shipment came in, and crack

Is selling a discount on the streets."


Ain't this a display of the procedural nature of language.  A real risk.


There are a lot of mobile meanings inhabiting these cheek to cheek



If the ethical life of Kierkegaard is implemented is there an estrangement

In the visceral.


It is Glossolalia that prevent domestic violence.


Horace says all poetry should be sweet and useful.



- Duane Locke