Down below past the fire escapes
they are widening the street
and men are hurrying from men
and women are hurrying
to women. There are many streets
and some of them
I have thrown from a high place
and he has landed in a low crouch
and set off like a man
down the length of a street which is
So I call myself an event
which I am.
I see myself in the up of cups
and in dangers that
never fall. Sometimes I am at a sill
looking through a fire escape into
the holes of old outhouses,
though bedroom windows of men
living sheets to sheets and women
waylaid by capers
are the only actual slights
on the empty street. And sometimes
the air of the city lifts into the room
like a new translation of someone,
and there’s a piece of glass
sitting at the base of a space heater,
and I find myself
speaking of myself in the past tense,
and I worry.
HELLO THE HOUSE
He kneels by the creek to drink his reflection and his catchrope trails him the fourteen hundred miles to Jersey. His arms cold rifles spent at his side, burying themselves in the black moss of the bank he drinks at. The creek whatever its pitch is still carrying him off like a message who gets it who sends it. The bank holds its own size and shape readily but not his. His sits in a Jersey walk-up with money at the fly for everything but milk. And in corners reckonless shadows and ropes of other kinds and outside where a Jersey pine starves a woman on a stoop holds a rope. Back at the creek his halter shrugs tighter under his chin and the man he sees in the water is dumbstruck. Probably she is in love, he thinks. And probably downriver there is another man bent by the water who waits for love also and also cannot see what he is.
BETWEEN THE TOWERS
Of course history is additive, and I will love, and there are kings still, and there is medieval weaponry used on peasants still, and the sun has beginnings in it, it wheels in a way some find oppressive and some a measure of hereafter, and that’s wrong, I said it wrong, and the past and the present may not actually intersect, and I will love, and I will again lose that loss, and there are modes of transport still, only slower and faster, and there are still slow and fast transportations, and someplace, there are places, and there is a wreckage that is sifted through, someplace, and some is solid, some soil, some is sold, some is gambled, and of course, and of course I will love, and there is a forest to go speak to, and there is a man to speak with, and of course and there is a woman to speak with, and I will go, and they will speak to each other, and they will lie, but mostly love, they will love, and there will be action, and there will be kings, and there will be kingdoms, but only these, only the things that can leave the way things are the way of things.
Seth Abramson is the author of Thievery (University of Akron Press, 2013), winner of the 2012 Akron Poetry Prize, and Northerners (Western Michigan University Press, 2011), winner of the 2010 Green Rose Prize from New Issues. He is also Series Co-Editor for Best American Experimental Writing (Omnidawn, forthcoming 2014).