Carol Mirakove

Buck Downs
Marijuana Softdrink
Edge Books, 1999, 72 pp., $11

what I really like
about Buck Downs
he just says it
                     like it is

what a day it is
to wake up and discover
                        you have nothing

three lines are three
one-lines
                                    what a day it is
                                    the day exists
                                    and sometimes he does
                                    but most of the time he is the day
                                    to wake up and discover
                                    to turn a trail on its head
                                    and pull back the blankets
                                                        you have nothing
                                                        he has a very de
                                                        finite understanding of nothing

and three lines are three lines

it’s as good a time as a
ny to realize ab
                      sense

                     moral
intensity is a natural
    resistance
         that fails
to reflect
     & means to

if a reflection falls
          on a side walk
& no one steps in it—
          that’s pret
                     ty nothing

let’s get ephemeral
& before the camera
wastes its time missing
what we’ll do & then
they have us do what
we already did instead

nothing is outside
the realm of public dis
play and the fleeting
is no time but the past made present
and baby that’s the only gift it’s gonna give

where’s them stairs—
upstairs (it’s a con
tagion, stasis holding
out for stairs

        and you could wait for the gift
in fact it’s re
commended be cause

until you’re somewhere
you’re done for

better to be a square peg
than to have no hole any way

& most sex
problems are just money
problems in disguise

that’s just about it just about
how just about all problems come
down to being a money
problem
              & you might think
that that’s not right
but that ain’t nothing
but a money problem

& ain’t that fair           the capital con
          tract sign up for your right to money
and all woes have the same root—
       pres
to
      be weal            thy be solved

& this is not a work of quotation
any more than the thoughts
that line your inmost heart
are a work of quotation

if a reflection falls
         on a side walk
& no one steps in it—
                                line? inmost? heart?

          the government is one pet dragon
          and we are the water
      that it passes in and out
      in and out at its vent
& you may disabuse me
          of this useless conviction
      only at the risk
           of your own personal liberty

you’re free to act as on
looker to fluffy ducks and sparkling streams
                              as if you’re not just part of the land
scape
          but down here we sleep in a coop
                    lined with Independence and Constitution
or
       the mall
    and the CIA         primo barnyard animals
lay a big egg for me baby

a dim bucket of vectors
    making dangerous soup
from dangerous soup mix

if your trade of choice
is cooking—
                        is evaporation liberation?

you talk about a bone
socket talk about a coin

the hole might be a lover,
or, a war wound

           o the laps
death ran
in this that battle
shop
    wounding
in the dead boys
eyes
            racing through the boys
            eye sockets and out with life
            was death like light
                                          & some thing
left
             to pluck for the used lead trade
             or for the history collectors
if it’ll shine up
                        if it’s that big
    put it in a baggy                         put it with the scrap

if it comes with a bone            saya
                                             lute it

any way you cut it
it’s a conquest a col
lection & again public dis
play is the way to go
when fighting
nothing

push me and push you back
     and exit through that
  thankyou    once it doesn’t
                   go away,
               it grows
         a rush until we crank it
               open push me off
                     once muscle
         shuts us
of this lot
        thanks again
     for the inventory
  make me feel like
     the janitors
  when I’m on you

the vacuous nice        ty walls
          lovers tensions be
     come not passion but polite
polite rat race
          & maybe us could avoid sidelines
if borrowed lines
          were left on a window sill
                    to blow a       way

and we don’t
need muscle to stop the tongue
once it’s broken time then
to become something vacant
empty and precious
lost to its own use
and possession

          instead the tongue went on the sill
caught in the
                               blinds
fell on the floor
                  with a light     thud
          & fastened                         back
into the mouth
                             with sequins
           this means        twist impaired
                     but it looks good

that secrecy of ours went
disappearing
  as we broke ourselves
              in two but now we have
let it
              we’ve let it all out
           what happens next
       has happened    a third
term lying between silence
          and lying       and just re
    membering won’t ever be
quiet in our breast
         again will it

literally           we are putting limbs back
          to         gether (dismembering the antonym of
    re

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