Friday, November 29, 2019

MBARI 7: Excerpt by Uche Nduka

Jean Genet is buried in Morocco. He is my out-law brother. Your swag in an airport security line.

A touch of bells. The clarinet has other things on her mind. Browning my bells.

A spine of steel or a spine of straw? A clown nose making a power grab. Or when your eyes change their minds about wonder.

He can’t look away. Who cares if you are distracted by the strolling moon. Telling us about a schlub as much as he knows.

Pitch-bending was a logical choice. They laughed at me when my lust got heard.

The external justifications for our existence are all conundrums. A slide into the sweetness beneath your clothes. Having fun sharing a laugh.

Spread on the surface of the mysteries that entangle us. Making sure the stiletto shoes stayed on point. I didn’t give you shit for doing that un-pop thing, saying that un-pop thing.

In the beginning was a playhouse where peace of mind became an evolving art project. Stressing people out with hopeless explanations. Remembering forgetting slow jams.

Depends on our knowledge of the pages just read. Oblivion without coating does look cool. Breaking water: junketeers, nestseekers, parachutists. A couple of death threats spotlit.

I serve you soup under pine trees. In search of what clarity is hiding. Idealism is not obsolete. Every living thing sings beyond railroad crossings.

Body of proof? Throes? Those drones sent to your cities. We waited until we couldn’t wait any longer to decompress, to deepen the shadow.

That juggler’s vertigo cuts to the bone. Pork cooked in its own fat. The air braids a mood. Floor sanding, dusty grooves. I’m alive because I was rocking away.

Breaking my vow to verbs. This exposure to the fabric of my life. Rubrics bristle, expecting rain. Gone missing, cylinders in a tunnel.

Ridiculing the placid screen. Plunging into fury, again and again. Driftwood teased the storm. You sauntered through the snarl of the storm.

I have placed saltlicks on foreplay and fellatios. You felt you belonged to another planet. You weren’t doing what you were supposed to be doing the way you were supposed to be doing it.

I needed to hear why you felt that way. Daylight threw us over the edge. By no means did everyone agree with the agitating slob.

Horses soaring through clouds. The chamber we share. It’s a little too late to walk away.

They claim they don’t want to take sides yet they crave awards/prizes for their photographs of your drowned bodies.

Boardwalk, mezzanine, past deception. Mountains are our neighbors. The aloof astronaut became cuddly. A pretty serious matter.

Beside the hardware moons locked eyes moons kissed. Beads of sweat on marked-up galleys. We really care about this place so now we shall take dissent to the extreme.

Stoking the lunar module. Even poetry is grist for their commercial mill.

Not the first of their moments together. Crowds gawk at colorblind lovers. It was once a safe landing spot. Orbiters in crescent curves.

Blemishes on lens. A testament to three moon globes. Those bombed out sculptures those bombed out statues those bombed out paintings in Iraq and Syria.

The squirrels and a canon of their own making. Marching music, footwork, watershoes. Too sly to be held back by mere exposure time.

This earthrise is an evidence. A flash fire breathing inside a muscle. Night again in a hand-corrected manuscript. Walking a runway: controversy still coming into focus.

Those broken manacles in the constellation of lovers. I can fuck myself up sometimes. I’m cool about it. You can’t say the dance-off doesn’t love you.

Uche Nduka is a Nigerian-American poet, essayist, collagist. He is the author of twelve volumes of poems of which the most recent is titled LIVING IN PUBLIC (Writers' Collective of Kristiania, Inc., 2018). Some of his writing has been translated into German, Dutch, Finnish, Italian, Arabic, Spanish, Serbo-Croat, French. A 2017 NYFA Poetry Fellow, he presently lives and teaches in New York City.

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