Meredith Quartermain

After the Gods
                    the weeds smell
               for money
                    smell in the yellow
                         mammoth bellies
               sold, like steer flanks,
                    for less than a piece of plastic
               his pocket attracting skins
                    puffed with breath
          the narrator feels he ought to
               yank bulls
          but runs out of bullets
               alcohol and rape, Karla shows them
          her back yard swallowing the gun
                    the lips returning
               a frumpish box
                         safe among rows of potholes
               parked in their slots like war
               on a clock city
                              red blue yellow rows
                    gathering floorboards, a long desperate gasp
          of distance a layer of clerk
               breaks middle engine breaks of coffee
          bus ears broken down and hooked
                    chainlink in gondolas
               carrying cars quotidian ubiquity                    
               ducts for ventilation fall
          over in that grey
               mirage moving slowly where
          beige shelves used to be
                                   naked neck to the business
                         scullery our mould our
                    lifeloads spindly gasp
               for light
                    arguing neon
               for painted mushrooms
          job hunt with rifle resume
               machine click bags       neon
          and her new though some go
                    years with thought
               warbles wild steer through the city's
               dog dint and fridge basement
                    kill to be seen     sinking and filling
                    refuse when we scrape work
               smooth brand reclusive cement
          the words themselves garbage skips
               tiller tips toward next evict
          patches with pegboards utter unscrews
                    didja give
                    didja sign for the rubber
                    step out of the heater
                    laugh over the pants
                    and shirts
                    sticky beige on the floor
               elephant cashier island
               in sea of donkeys
                    gobbling before her
          the narrator feels he ought to
               begat fruit with a face
               but greeks named the stars
                    after the gods

The East Village Poetry Web