Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Love Song: I And Thou

Alan Dugan

Nothing is plumb, level, or square:
000the studs are bowed, the joists
are shaky by nature, no piece fits
000any other piece without a gap
or pinch, and bent nails
000dance all over the surfacing
like maggots. By Christ
000I am no carpenter. I built
the roof for myself, the floors
000for myself, and got
hung up in it myself. I
000danced with a purple thumb
at this housewarming, drunk
000with my prime whiskey: rage.
Oh, I spat rage's nails
000into the frame-up of my work:
it held. It settled plumb,
000level, solid, square and true
for that great moment. Then
000it screamed and went on through,
skewing as wrong the other way.
000God damned it. This is hell,
but I planned it, I sawed it,
000I nailed it, and I
will live in it until it kills me.
000I can nail my left palm
to the left-hand crosspiece but
000I can't do everything myself.
I need a hand to nail the right,
000a help, a love, a you, a wife.

(Poems Seven, Seven Stories Press, 2001.)

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The good stuff.

1 comment:

Talia said...

Good stuff, yes.