David Michael Wolach
Tonight I left bloody footprints
on the steps leading to my office.
I have no office. We of the part
time have no debt. Isn't that lovely?
I did not commit the crime. I merely
walked through the crime scene.
I am not an accessory. They call
me a witness. I witnessed nothing.
Someone asked if I did it
and I told them the sun fell
long before I was born. These footprints
are not mine, they are my shoe's.
My legs did the walking and my feet
trudged through this fantastically manicured shrubbery
and before I could ask you where I'd gone
those tracks were laid to history.
-Previously published in Night Train, 2007
music is scattered
says the cellist boy.
as that calcifying golden evening
descends fast like bald lucky vultures
upon the praying hands of Badura Skoda
he manages to pluck our strings smirking
so you like Schubert's trio in
E flat? he died composing
it and you, loverof his sorrowwill die
Strange watching daylight behind me sink into the valley.
As he opens now like cunt throwing glass jaws at these
Swimming In Multiverse
There is always something nothing broken. Figure.
Bly me is a phrase that I'll never use out loud but I
think it sometimes. Fake, ruinous carnivalesque
theories are here for the heartsickness. You want to say:
in art there is nothing as pure, pregnant and potent as
nothing. Wittgenstein. You want to say to him: do not
die, and by heartsickness you mean heart attack or
conduction block and by pure you mean absent and
by pregnant you really do mean just that—pregnant,
carrying child, etc., etc. There is no mystery in this.
There is no mystery. That period, right over there—
left—is meant to signify: there is nothing more to say.
We would shrug together, you and I. We would shrug in
unison, harmony, discordant rhythm. Synchronous. Had
we a pool and life preservers we would be performing
that ritual they call synchronized swimming. You have
this urge: go to the Summer Olympic Games and qualify.
With all the style, the ornament, the grace of the
Olympic Synchronized Swimmer. Simply so you can, in
the final round, shrug. We of this the pool, shrugging.
Once. The score would be low but the audience would
get it. So much. They too would shrug. Or sigh. Or say:
there is nothing more to say.
-Both previously published in Toasted Cheese
Union Our Union
from Fractions of M
I never worked for you, never stole
your cogs or shavings. Staplers
bully pulpit. My hands are mine
never left my pockets, sixty hour
weeks and the picket, near zero mornings
never. I never pushed your paper
only pushed your paper nine percent
of the time. The rest wrestling lions
offshore at a caffeinated rest home named
Zoots. Or watching men whose filing systems
were certainly more interesting than their files.
Or translating glances into intimations
imminent lunch hour flings. Or and or and
if, and you never had me, I was never there.
I was always officing, sidewalk
sidebars, bludgeoning your huge corpus
callosum with my thrilling multi-tasking.
Until the hush hush chant of bust
and halt, this day, new act broke our lifelong
tryst into the tiniest blunt scarps of directionality.
The language of the universe
I remind you, stakes no claim on us, leftovers.
The Line of the Work
from The Cutting Room
The line of the work is in scars,
the feet of crows balancing moment
by moment. The line of the work
has been crossed, as blood drawn
always houses seeds for unfortunate days.
The line of the work is the work
yet unmined, tracing the outline
of a window's glare, January—
formidable obstacles from porch
to lawn, lawn to shoveled asphalt.
The line of the work lays its head
on the road, listening for something
of potentially no value. The line of the work
wears itself, returns at night brotherless,
handfuls of lipstick, two handfuls ignorant
of their origin beyond the obvious fact
of lips. The line of the work is the electrical
heat of the worker, moving us from street
to street, alert beyond comprehension, underground.
The line of the work ascends, no apotheosis,
a night clear of disaster, just air, hot
it falls upward and disperses. The line of the work
wants more than murmur. The murmur says:
"Quiet, listen to me. I am the sounds
of a whole history of martyrs.”