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This is Jacket 14 - July 2001   |   # 14  Contents   |   Homepage   |

This issue of JACKET is a co-production with SALT magazine

Michael Scharf

The Song Form as a Reflection of Actual Infrastructure: Four Poems for Austria 2000

White shoe. Everyone banding together and putting up
temporary walls, scaling down the visions they brought to the city.
Some, defeated but still active, wanted to get the word out,
squadron-style. "He was Superman 20 years ago,"
someone noted, "to introduce the idea of voyeurism right from the start,
so that the wares were less interesting than the unfolding action."
So inclined were the guests to dream and loiter,
festering within a purplish bit of patriotic verse (the anti-thesis
of early ’30s cosmopolitan cool) that there were no masses.
There was a skeleton crew.

If the roof is wood, you can actually see
the spots of Red Man where the workers
had spit the juice.
Rain, ices and family services, shingles,
previous community profiles, exchanges
with schools in Spain, crackings down, schools of excellence,
spectrum of blond wood, grad students with legal pads. "I think
of our school as a large supermarket
offering every convenience." We were willing to take them outright,
Routes 3 and 17, but we were rejected. It is the shapes, in fact.

Stop eating so much, fuckball.
But which communities, leaning toward
Bethlehem, Cisco, or CSX,
are likely to be considered
magnets for the young?
Upward, upward, upward,
the untergang knocked
my block off, then chucked in some of their own.
If the roof is wood, cease fire, tammany hall’s a liar,
can, can stand, as man can, stand, as a man can,
stand and fight or fidget, doll or dive down and stay down,
under hand-hewn timbers floated down the Colombia or Snake,
then removed to Breuer’s breadbox for the inblasting of the dome.

Reactions to toys predict behaviors but not contexts.
The plusses and minuses redacted by dotted lines —
Your Biedermeier plaything was gloriously phantasmal,
but who are you? There’s more, more
however, more masters, that, cracked,
were made for dancing in their original form
outside the organization, Giorgio Moroder in Munich.
Keeping the elderly
in the towns they helped build, deals and discounts,
subsidized even if they can’t get the notes out — totally humane.
A hidden ground of an earlier era
becomes more visible, now surrounded by flowers,
staunch loyalists. I can’t believe
they’re paying me to sing; I’m having
such a good time.


In a move that promises to make
lesser known, the sucre
simplifies most transactions, the music attractions.
Sang the note en masse, dolomite dollarization,
mountainous debt erased by a special act, a special desk,
a single reflection in the transparency.
It’s the same thing, but with charts and illustrations
McKinseying the deal. They smelt my breath.

20,000 feet of meeting space, two
restaurants and two
massive but unobtrusive steel and concrete,
the casual visitor unaware of the causal chain,
the microwave soup burnt mouth.


All roads may lead to Rome,
Rhône and Saône, Newark and Paris, Paris and Pittsburgh.
First Frank One, then (valid tamarind) King George in tin ascended,
raged, contested, commensed with
waltzes, yet sets of boots trounced the regal nickname,
rejected by several revelers who laughed at the host,
but continued to snuff the coke. Rooms are done
in gold or azure and gold. Blocked
hideous drifted, the appointees finally got the airport built.
That was the Bayou Blaster. This is the Allegheny Augmentation.
No one in non-smoking notices the wig on fire, tin dribbling
down the narrow aisle.


At stake is reunification in Germany, the three
male faces of liberty, what’s technically called "connection"
in the orphaned Alpine land.
There are still jobs in Germany,  but they refuse to get in the car,
or leave the house. Must play the piano in octaves,
hands spread, clicking through mechanically.
Not so many Americans are coming.
They’re not internalizing anything.

Recorded music, the promise of steady work,
the hegemony of the American singer —
a tone that’s langorous but unflinching, an elocution superb, raw
but somehow smooth, youthful yet somehow worldly. Tomorrow’s
actually a holiday, is implicitly stagey. Willful and terrible.
We have to interpret your movements,

those uncontent stuffed
with the beauty of others.

J A C K E T # 14   and   S A L T # 13   Contents page
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This issue of Jacket is a co-production with SALT magazine,
an international journal of poetry and poetics, edited by John Kinsella
PO Box 937, Great Wilbraham, Cambridge PDO, CB1 5JX United Kingdom ISSN 1324-7131

This material is copyright © Michael Scharf
and Jacket magazine and SALT magazine 2001
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