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Yeah, Canvas


And then I said “Denver”
“down and die” or something

you said. This great artifice of

what? I dunno. It’s just

a depressing sort of

straightforwardness. Calmly as

possible, persuasive, you

come in, you say

“I’m dying.” Don’t again. I

spin around this self

a kinda project, you see

not so much here, nor

this all around, and you

ambitious, too busy

with all that inherited

imaginary. Remember that time—

now time, there is this

all around and the you

“down and die” you said

“Denver” and I just

laughed and left and drove

and then I said “Denver.”


Scrappy grace,

wobbly politics,
let me count & broke I’ll

swoon. Tell us how
to do it and we’ll

fuck it up again.

Minus consistency,

all this gives up

smilingly, conscious
the postures, the unwitting didn’t—

most ways we

tell, the movement

from here to here
takes our pace. The

proximity in terms

we must care for

causes too much
talking. It’s the gestural,

your usefulness,

more than what

cares for me.
The idea’s dread

of its missing

persons, unsaid when
most say. Listen to

laughter’s obsession

with timing, and cruelty

finds a place for itself,

right where the
time goes. Irony is

a better conclusion
than conceit. My questions

ask for bread

while my body considers

the circumstances. Thoughts

dream bankrupt patterns

aimed at every

migrant constituency.

Ration your
denials. They are the

clapping of a polite

audience, the right noise
at the right time.


Alex Young

Alex Young is a poet.


The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2005

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