Aught, no. 7 (2001)

Tom Hibbard


Assent 27

only midnight has thoughts
  here come the two dolphins
   midnight is prize pigheaded
 arriving too early for everyone
utter lack of references
 reenacting the contractions of Formosa
   to do a service as before

superficial criteria
 clean the unleased debris
  we should be guided by
 unconsumed traffic tickets
  that in several years could supplant
 leaving us unarmed
civil rights set fire to the lean-tos of criminality

October War Memorial
 straggling crowds, small fair
  going up a hill to downtown
 inspired by epicurean reminders
  not to take anything with me
denying oneself is accepting oneself
 we waited to get rid of
  the room numbers of the air
randomness takes care on the last day
 I despise ambiguity
  bolstered by the two-edged sword
of Adrammelech and Anamelech
  weary faces of train stations
  exotic driving
the chronic blaring might be better

have we really changed
 sometimes I need to ask why
  I haven't taken out the birth-panged pills
   of untrammeled Ridgeway

breakdowns can't be prohibited by law
 are negligible washtub shifts
  troubles of political freedom
quibbling unceasingly
 about how could I be so stupid
I didn't capitulate to
 odd condescension
  having to circumvent my own ways
   to pull out these darts
  commotion has no cleverness
 the grave print shop put into otter language
  I feel badly for doing in
   the fresh odor
  of weeks and weeks of dissipation
   I worked so hard for

words stand or fall by themselves
 according to inner criteria
I don't disagree that no one is trying
 should I just overlook vestments of oil leaks
  perhaps it would improve
if I were eager to smite
 long ago I talked about this
if I said I didn't then I would be like you
 because you did know
  the warehouses were full
for years you said you didn't

don't let them off
 why is it that you fail to punish criminals
  why is it that you hire and promote them

the cruelty is larger than I
 I leave it to you to decide which is which
what should I do to bide my time
 until you know
  I am behind you wholeheartedly
 I share your fidelity
  your well-fed desire for revenge

what I entrusted to you
 brought me gangs of weightiness
we should not spend nuclear energy
 that needs chain reactions
  to pay the small price of misery
   uses ribbons bottle caps
  how long has it been

they devour your pension
 as though they have never seen anything
  like the things it shows
 intoxicated by it
  can't get enough of it
   can't get it away

Copyright 2001, by the author. All rights reserved.
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