Foggy Headlights (and Chromosomes)I don't remember if it was a wedding or a funeral, only the flowers...Foggy Headlights (and Chromosomes) by Bark
seemed like millions of them
Soft, sorrowful, white flowers... roses or orchids?
I don't remember now, maybe magnolias...
You smiled a thin smile, your face pale, washed out.
If it was a wedding, I wasn't the groom.
A funeral, I wasn't the guest of honor.
I never could get things straight, somehow.
Morphine DaysSepia world, barnstorming, brainstorming, building up, looking outMorphine Days by Bark
Of dusty cracked windows to see it all happen, now, again, bold
Into the empty yellowed skulls piled up around the old church
Only on morphine days, though, when we fall out of grace
God, look at the crows, how many pilot their way across the sky
Obscene noises through the dust, shitting on old rusted machinery
Abandoned throughout dried-up, smashed-down stalks of corn
Here, to the left, the foundation of a house that no longer exists
There were good days here, once, weren’t there? Maybe not…
99 DrumsThere were ninety-nine drums in the line, speaking loudly99 Drums by Bark
about thin white blankets, bedsores, red Jell-O, disease
About the sky cracking and falling to earth in sharp pieces
About the old nodding out more frequently now, their
bodies shutting down for the last time, faint groans and sighs
The buttons have been pushed in sequence, no return now
Crossword puzzle books and Uno cards abandoned, TV
unwatched, drums drop out one by one until at last only
Not even shouting down the halls, but whispers
I remember the trees were just beginning to turn when you left
And how a hard driving rain swept across the grounds
The sky cried all night; I took your dreamcatcher home
in the morning; there were no dreams left
Installation PieceIron thorns push through skin, I’m part of an installation pieceInstallation Piece by Bark
Flesh and bone, metal and stone, electronics
Wheeled in on a cot, phones for eyes
That never ring
But I see how they look at me; (they’re thinking)
How lonely it must be to slowly die alone
They smile anyway, good at faking it
After all, it’s their job
One day the artist will be able to push a button, and I’ll spin
My speaker-mouth will sing about snow
Only one more push allowed
And I’ll spin into space
My last human thought will not be of you, but of us, together
Sitting in the cold morning, coffee and cigarettes
Back before they began assembling us
One at a time
Dancing in the StreetsMy brain needs food, maybe peanut butter flavoredDancing in the Streets by Bark
Something to jolt it into gear, into inspiration
An old 45 on the Invictus label, or lemonade stand sun
Maybe the Necronomicon, maybe crow-dancing
Something to awaken me and start a fire downtown
Could be you, your hand grazing my cheek gently
But more likely something old and iron found in dreams
Something besides the wavering headlights in the fog
(Where the fourth line of this stanza just disappeared)
Maybe a ghost owl and a near-dead crow in a duet?
Places I've Been You Wouldn't Want to GoAn oil-painted robust cowboy riding beneath epic Western skiesPlaces I've Been You Wouldn't Want to Go by Bark
But a dark cloud passed, a tumor grew, dreams rotted and festered; yippi-ki-yi-yay,
A dark court of one-story apartment buildings, hazardous, broken
Decorated by a rusty tricycle, mops on back porches, dead dolls
Fear of the one-armed man;
An old man with the smell of disease about him lies in thin blankets
A faucet is dripping, a clock ticking, a dog howls mournfully outside
Empty bottle of pills;
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.
They speak in heliumTequila, miniatures, compliments of KLM.They speak in helium by EmmaSloane
It's half a dozen shots; maybe enough
to let me clean out your desk today.
I open the drawer a crack, then wider.
That meddling slut Pandora's been here.
She's stuffed it full of arguments
and stale conversation, leaking trouble,
oozing bad karma.
Balloons come flying out, sputtering,
sucking up to the ceiling, helium-high.
They speak in absurdities and riddles,
mad on myth and inert gas.
But I'm so free, smoking Black Devils,
crumpled pack, under a map of Boston;
empty matchbook, The Frog and Peach;
my number, in your drunken scrawl.
I aim lungfuls of Dutch smoke upward,
toward the balloons, high on noble gas.
They scuttle away, muttering sotto voce;
curses they mean for me to hear.
Pandora babbles on about culture wars,
aestheticized lust and cool, electric sex.
She says the drawer is leaking trouble;
I say my heart is leaking trouble and smoke
and these fucking, trash-talking balloons.