Thursday, February 2, 2012

Steve Tills/ Means to be operative

I possess neither son nor daughter. Some say they
would have completed me, but I never thought
completely there was any capital to that notion.
We mustn't mess with old father's tales, however,
even if the shortest stories survive
unwillingly at best.

One uncle, someone says a
"monkey's uncle," means to be operative
and to this semantic end employs
a copulative, at least syntagmatically.

Whatever that means, the real question is,
when you turn it on, does it get all
mean-spirited and stringy and all.

One fellow, a transplant from the east
who quickly learned how to presume himself
a hippy there, hence became a neohippy
here or everywhere later additional new realities
turned up like out of place. Well, besides that,

I forgot what I was going to say, frequently
inventing some other excuse for what others took
to be improvisation it took its toll. In the first place,
the first person didn't know what he was writing bout
and the second really just wanted to replace him, the
third was an even more complete imposter.


But when you see an Indian fellow in the hospital
and even though you know better, you think
it could have been Kasey Mohammad
the way you pictured Kasey before
you saw an actual picture of him

and found out he was older,

and the Indian fellow is Indian, or Pakistani, maybe,
and much younger again,
like Kasey before you saw an actual picture of him.


Let's face it, YOU

My Wife, My Poetry, A Day at the Laundromat,
all Frank O'Hara, I suppose,
the easiest one to imitate, so many have
and the others are all pissed
because they only tried to imitate themselves
and succeed eternally.

And whether I take six months
to compose four spare stanzas
or do two books a year
in six long nights, I still can't fry an egg
with one hand jobbing and jobbing and jobbing.

Yes, my first time in a big university
library like that.

I could have spent a lot of time there
in her lap, but "that's not me,"
you say. You never got busted.
That's why you got away with so much
time wasted.

Actually, I already know who you are.
You don't have to prove anything
with your experimental methods.
You're the one who received a four finger salute
for a three finger bag of Commercial
Columbian in the '70's, one from your Dad,
one from your Mom, one from your Little Sis,
and one from your Big Sis, who sold it to you,
then bailed you out down and at
the county pokie, Okay?


Had you only matured two decades earlier
in the great 60s
maybe you could have gone
to Princeton or Brandeis
like your analyst
and her brother,
but you were working
class, so you will never know.
Had you only been further neutered.

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