Jacket 19 — October 2002   |   # 19  Contents   |   Homepage   |  Catalog   |
This issue of Jacket is a collaboration with Verse magazine



Ray DiPalma

Three poems


A Bucket of Pink Sand

A madrigal of knifings,
as paths explained:
a red bandanna to frighten the crows
and put a rumor among the stones
with lengthy applause on summer days

This occurs frequently — all umbrella, gun, and fountain pen:
then after lunch a recitation of
several questions to accompany
the printed version
The Neva, Vade Mecum of Science
Its author hums a syllogism —
Next stop: No Stop, Nevada (Pop. Unkn.)
a Podunk of samovars and drowsy intimacies
where you find the light too busy, for instance,
too secretly colossal, foreign stance


Gynt, GENT.

Here’s some new information.
             Will you take delivery?

1

Dragged naked and wet from the icey river
then hauled away in a crouch
you’ve been lamped for a time-honored pilgrim
still falling backwards

Like a three hour matinee
up and down the scales
just wait until he finds the notes
with all his fingers — you just wait until
the man gets there — still bright and still
no warning — knowing
as he does what your money’s worth —

I look at you and I see anyone else


2

Ragged chanters on the sagging gat yodel
the melodies mysterious —
reluctant anxieties, calm ironies and nimble pieties
delivered in song after song

Once all big tippers and nice to the help
one hundred percent legitimate
Now it’s physical torture mental torture and
vig out the ass — real aggravation

But I’ve got another deal for you. . .
Because you never know when
you’re going to need something extra


Shelf Talker, Smiling Stranger

I don’t remember how it began:
The exemplary widow and the weak-minded son,
A blue comet, a mix of eras,
All episodes of the struggle,
Intent on the marble trail running
Through the haunted quarry.

Trying to overcome the answer to a question,
The result of a disagreement over an apology,
The bloom of pressure and obligation —
I think there’s I think there’s
Is what is thought. Evidence that a stone fell from the wall.




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