The East Village

Francis Raven


With the olive green I pictured him. 
With shiny black shoes I pictured him 
stamping me out while I pictured him. 
He sent letters to all his friends 
which enveloped no words 
only subtly commanding colors. 
The house was no bigger than small 
and we all had fires with our feet 
getting hot near the coals. 
I was near his farness, 
he commanded me with deep red triangles 
and purple silouettes of women running. 

In the summer when we were both twelve 
we saw the women, with paisley cheap cloth 
running like decisions of waterfalls 
across the tawny field. His name was Boris.  Boris could 
never forget 
the women 
that is how he spoke. 

His name was painted by bird shit 
on cold pavement, the fire and gunshots 
made them fly and Boris said
he would question nothing with a question 
he would give himself to appearing stupid 
with some naive statement and that was his question, 
both whether you could answer the question 
and whether you knew that the statement was a question. 
Gaining words is a game.  Flutter and piss rot. 
Smile and contempt.

It matters the way he walks 
without a word to a step.