Poetry Archives Bio
October 8, 2003
9:17 PM
No Smoking

No Smoking

poetry is everywhere.

as i sit
to eat my lunch

on the concrete entrails
of a cold, wind-swept rise,
turned inside out,
and edificed for posterity,

i see that goddamn sign,
a memorable cliché
of this college:

"no smoking,
due to fabric awning below"

and below,
(bellow?, nah):
"please use
covered area
at ground level"

wow. a haiku, almost.

then, the affirmative
"NO SMOKING"
in the jubilant shouting voice
of young poetic arrogance.

beautiful.
but, what can we make of it?
how much can we carry home
in happy armfuls?

let's see:

no smoking.
smoking
smo king
small king,
a king, among this squalor!
no smoking,
no small peanuts, either.

let's see.

please use covered area
pleas yews coveted aria
pleas use covered arias,
sing like cats! happilly tangled
in their meyowing.

i have to smile.
let's see.

no less than at ground level,
ground
dust
ground into fine dust
into the ground level,
from the coveted areas,
serenading
spring songs of love
(but mostly lust).

let's see.

it's our friend
the small king.
clings to his mother's skirts,
afraid of the fabric's yawning,
aware of the lust below.

but no; the mother and son
(the small king)
must take it elsewhere,
to the covered area,
where the cats sing arias
to their forbidden lust.

no, stuff like this
we can trust!
some giggle, smirk, smile
i! smile—
this is good.

let's see.

in the early dawn,
afraid of the "NO SMALL KING",
written all over his hairy chest,
the queen slinks
to the real king,
the boy she can trust
thrust
in her loins;

then rest.

now, on the ground level,
the fabric below is heavy and wet,
covering intriguing areas,
the mother and son share a cigarette;
the skin of the small king
glistens;
this is an interesting love

with physiobio beyond and above,
the night is a virgin again,
in the dawning;
below,
the NO SMALL KING is yawning.

work of the day is coming,
office bullshit, politics,
the bottle rolled on the persian rug
obliterates distant tigers' leaping,
dancing, prowling, pouncing

to his side,
at the window,
the queen is sleeping;
she always sleeps.
what did I ever
see in her?
she doesn't sleep with me
anymore

either out with her friends,
or back here, popping pills
and weeping. but not tonight.
who is she sleeping
with?

mhumm.
but I can't jump fences.
and better stay married for now,
put up a façade,
keep up with pretenses,
get the apostles out of my hair.

heir, yes, what a stalwart prince
in the coming.
but I don't trust him.
no, something's becoming
of this small king,
someone's talking
at the ground area,
someone whispers
at the galleria.
something's afoot.

no, says NO SMALL KING
i'm a king! a king in this squalor!
time to turn it around,
stab the bastards, get me some
valour
for hire
march on the next kingdom,
go through each village,
eat and drink and fuck and pillage

so the NO SMALL KING
goes to his advisors,
who, tedious and tired,
put on their visors,
clash calculators,
working the night

and the next morning,
(with some small delight,
and one or two seizures)
they meet NO SMALL KING
who's doing the chambermaid
at his leisure
in the jacuzzi,
and while he's majestically rapt,
they tell him
his kingdom's bankrupt.

brooding, NO SMALL KING is drunk,
his mind's not in business,
that's not what he's after,
so he drunkedly wanders, bewildered,
orders to hang on the rafter
the bastards
which? anywhich, really.
this is not a democracy,
i am NO SMALL KING!
who said you could speak freely?


reader, guess, as you might,
every dog has his day
and right after that day,
in the dark of the night,
stood servants and friends
nobles, peasants; they paused.
paused, and then edged
NO SMALL KING
from everything (every king)
to no thing,
nothing.


after revels of joy,
celebrations of light,
chance for freedoms of youth,
quiet, in the next night,
on the ground
after ground,
blended,
ground in fine dust

mixed with life, love and lust,
lie the mother and son
(just like sister and brother)
not a sound in the world,
but the child-sweet cliché
of one heartbeat
over another.
in another.

and the moon is yet to rise.
and the morning to come.


this I thought,
and was brought
back,
and was done;
brought back to the concrete entrails
joyful, playful, proud, coy,
of what this all now means,
and entails
of how this all now sings,
of how this, for a moment,
is everything

remembering "NO SMOKING"
and the small king.