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August 1995

August Kleinzahler, 20 June 1996

... Under the floorboards Shadow and Smoke bark through these windy summer nights, always at queer intervals. Something’s got up their noses or call and response with a distant yard. All summer long awakened from dreams by barks, remembering each of them through, shabby kinescopes. The guys upstairs come fetch them in the morning and disappear till night, always leaving the light on in the storeroom, to make it more cheerful, I suppose ...

September, with Travellers

August Kleinzahler, 26 November 1998

... Coolness at evening, a delicate astringent It seems only last week those sunsets, like gardens of sky in all their extravagance, kept on without end, the lightest of breezes, trembling sage. Now, the curtains drawn earlier each evening, the dinner wine left half-finished. One guest after another passing through. A few quiet hours here, a long, difficult journey from town, before heading on ...

52 Pick-Up

August Kleinzahler, 16 October 1997

... Luminoso e dolce Suzerainty Impetigo Colourless green ideas sleep furiously Titrate Spinners&darners Farallons Dag Frottage Slow loris Gating A bit of the other Cuisse-de-nymphe Chamfer Amber, civet and musk cods Wahoo McDaniel Chlamydia Mortised-and-tenoned Huitzilopochtli A bit of rough Chalumeaux Dingleberry Esculent Wing-nut Sforzato Ten dwarve ...

Two Poems

August Kleinzahler, 17 March 2005

... Goddess Well now, it really is you, and after how many months? I had ceased keeping track. No, not given up, never that. I should die if that were true. But still – was it some affront? You’ve never been this cruel. Distracted? To be sure; even you can’t begrudge me this: a father, friend, another friend. Death’s visits threatened never to end ...

How Many Times

August Kleinzahler, 11 June 2009

... Master claps of thunder, Wrath of God thunder – Sitting on the porch at night and waiting For the rain to fall in Texas; Or at the Cantina Grill Express In Denver airport, between flights, Watching as you dab at some hot sauce On your chin: How many times, how many places, Have I said ‘I love you’? How many _____ does it take To change a light bulb? Watching smoke from the sugar beet plant Drift east to Minnesota From the hotel window in Fargo – How many times ‘you are beautiful’? The swami, After an extended meditation In his hut, in the pine forest, Many kilometres distant From the nearest village And at an altitude From which one can see Not only that village, but the next And the next, Takes out a cigarette, Lights it, And inhales deeply ...

Sports Wrap

August Kleinzahler, 30 June 2011

... Who would have credited their late August collapse? They flourish like jumpweed over these punishing summers, or did do, adversaries going faint here alongside the river. Eighteen-wheelers bust across the interstates, devouring horizon, tuned to the one same station, signal fluttering as this distressing tale unfolds, inning by inning, game by game ...

September: Lake Wannsee, Berlin

August Kleinzahler, 19 October 2000

... I would rather have been Dufy with these sails and darkening clouds – well, not Dufy, and this is not Le Sud: better, say, Cranach, had he been given to painting sails against the day’s last light. Perhaps there is a kind of sail in Mary’s eyes, poor thing. The Baltic night is moving in, dragging its sombre quilt behind like a filthy bridal train ...

The Bus Barn at Night

August Kleinzahler, 7 August 2003

... Motion is not a condition but a desire to be outside of one’s self and all desire must be swept away so saith fatso Gautama bus-like under the shade of some shrub in the Deer Park in some grove some municipal greensward chewing a leaf that has left him stoned as a stone stone-like mouthing this sententious drivel some errand-boy some rich man’s son dutifully sets down on a dusty tablet ignoring the insects and snakes After midnight under the arc-lights like a giant sound stage the abandoned set of an action spectacular Mrs Kiniski’s team goes bus to bus hoovering candy-wrappers crumbs and then with their scrapers attending to the grease and impacted filth and gum as Rudolfo sluices away in the south-east corner and the boss, with a sigh comes to the end of Hermann Hesse’s Siddartha Phalanx upon phalanx of impassive Buddha-wagons silver hulls and red trim Fleet of the Three Jewels the Attainment & Perfection City Transit Corp ...

Tanka-Toys: A Memoir

August Kleinzahler, 28 November 1996

... The planet may have tilted, if only a hint when the shelf of cloud burnt angrily before dusk           jack-o’-lantern stuff her hair the colour of her coat, fallwear       ******* The wet stain her bathing-suit left on the bench           the shape of Bolivia, drying, drying into atolls Ursa Minor, a thumbprint      ...
... I Rain streams from the stucco parapets of the Boomerang Academy well after midnight, early autumn, along this deserted stretch of Broadway between the railyard and boarded-up emporium where Aunt Peg got her trousseau, Dolores too, in the year-aught-something at the bottom-of-the-world. And it roars in the canopy of leaves high above the sedate brick offices of the law and publishing firms nearby, pouring from roof gutters down on the walkways and out to the street, empty of cars but for one ...

Two Poems

August Kleinzahler, 25 July 2002

... Hyper-Berceuse: 3 a.m. Imagine in all the debris of space The countless trade names Jugurtha Tuwolomne Chert-Farms Some of these belong to you Can you tell which ones Each has its own sequence of microtones Together they make up a kind of tune Your tune The ceiling and walls are star maps Breathing, alive Those aren’t stars, darling That’s yo ...

Two Poems

August Kleinzahler, 8 March 2001

... The Installation Until it all turned into a waxworks The lot of them In the same old rooms Same lamps, chairs, wainscoting The piano still there, out of tune Sheet music under the seat A period tableau, late ‘50s But off, somehow, dark A hint of menace in the shadows It could almost be something out of Kienholz But eastern, domestic Taped voices ...

Snow in North Jersey

August Kleinzahler, 22 February 1996

... Snow is falling along the Boulevard and its little cemeteries hugged by transmission shops and on the stone bear in the park and the WWI monument, making a crust on the soldier with his chinstrap and bayonet It’s blowing in from the west over the low hills and meadowlands swirling past the giant cracking stills that flare all night along the Turn ...

The Art Farm

August Kleinzahler, 14 January 2002

... Another season comes to a close. Sunflowers nod, the mallards grow restive and hoarfrost sparkles on the lawns well into morning. After some discussion, the badminton nets finally come down. For one last time the cleaning ladies strip off the bedclothes of the week’s guest artist and do what they can with the wine stains. – Jerk, they say to themselves, village girls with almost no experience of art ...

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