John Courtney

(05-22-1982 / Philadelphia)

Stale Green


last week my mother phoned
my grandfather will be 70 this March
I am 30- there's no fucking way.
the twenties roared as promised
vivid body blows setting up memory
with dirty pastels like stains that stalk
commuter rail platforms late at night
when Chicago sleeps below a slowing rain.

life is still on sale, my shadow continues on
dilating next to a chassis of mellower beef
and pounded bone, goddamn this endless day
reeled into endless night, goddamn these curtains,
who picked them out? they don't match anything!

goddamn the endless traffic most of all
bad drivers are consuming the galaxy
I storm about in protest of a sky with child,
an expectant mother, obnoxious cocktail waitress
with all the leverage, 'thirty, no fucking way, '
and lightning splits a tree that blocks a road.

'that's great, ' was all I could muster,
I hoped for understanding, but from where I stood
death was the only friend who could keep a secret,
from where I stood the engine was leaking
not beneath the hood of my matchbox corvette,
but from the very cavity of my soul,
a volcano of cardinal pastels,
my mad diamond of hope yielded into pumice stone.

who could escape such a dazzling mane without a face?
the dead civilization was trapped in electric camouflage
I am 30- faced with the imposing threat of hatred,
and sitting in this glass jar, holes poked above,
whistling my own song but adjacent to an ancient hum,
my lonely boy in a library has prepared me well
to love until the end, there must be a way,
enjoy every red light.

70
good for him.

Submitted: Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, May 08, 2013
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