Harmony ca. 1930, collection of Levi Hirschler

Harmony ca. 1930, collection of Levi Hirschler

Morning river walk

The tide is low
the current is calm –
and flat, and still
like a mirror, reflecting
in near perfect symmetry
images of flora and statuary
from the far side –

and on the near side
the polk salad weeds are
growing tall
and bowing over –
their leaves too long,
too brown
for human consumption.

John Drysdale, Odd Girl Out, 1965

John Drysdale, Odd Girl Out, 1965

I wake up with the hiccups,
my coffee jones is down on me –

I stumble to the kitchen,
still some powder left in the grinder

from yesterday’s yesterdays –
I fire up the kettle – twice-boiled

water will do just fine, thank you.
My hiccups are getting worse…

The french press is full of sludge.
I pour the sludge out – most of it –

what remains will season the new batch,
sort of like making yogurt. The whistle

is blowing, the water is boiling again.
Won’t be long now. Won’t be long.

The Grace Museum – Abilene, Texas, 1928 Kitchen

The Grace Museum - Abilene, Texas, 1928 Kitchen

High culture and low
polished and profaned
sanctified and ghettoized –
all the decisions we make
stem from false dichotomies
presented to us – opposing options

in a narrative, neither of which
makes us better or worse for the wear —

just older and grayer –
more wrinkled and cataract’d
until our vision is blocked,
and our tastebuds deadened
by the novocaine they give us –
for good behavior.