Joshua Beckman

 

 

 

*  *  *

 
I saw them all walk through
with a promise pinned to each sprouted smile.
The saw, the guitar, the sweet blue pulse
of every eye.  This is how
people are said to act,
but get yourself together
and I’ll start in on another.
Did you ever see the lovely daisy
of your chest held to?
That’s a crowd.
That’s a crowd of the sincere and wantful.
That’s the sound of a pink sweater
hitting the floor.
Always we will want
but next year I will take
your pretty palm into my pants
and the Flanagan Family Singers
will pipe up with their only aloofness
and we will sing along
we will take each single sound
and leave it inside you
for there you are, afraid again
falling over every memory on your way
back from the bathroom.
Ugly people cover themselves in smoke,
and I’m one of them.
Countries fill their countrysides
with sheep so that their countrysides
can be nibbled upon – everyone’s trying.
But you’re at home jumpstarting each pore that opens.
Did I ever tell you how, when I was young,
I was the biggest doer,
all fathom and future,
pretending to understand?
Well, that’s who you’re sleeping with darling,
that’s who stares into your eyes waiting again tonight.
Soon a place.
Soon a little open place.
And if you want to I want to too.
Swing over the sleeping earth
and fuck at will.
 
 
 

*  *  *

 
So to not be heard
it’s him, for here to lay
down what one has made,
to watch the lovely drop on it
displayed – to make of something
something – to be done –
your voice is now that silent noise
we look – such is the fallen
ceiling, such is the constant pool –
your lights, when you spin your wheels,
the recession of memory until it is that drop or less
and the condensation we’ve come to bless
so as to make it certain and gone
of the mind
it has been said: its inabilities
are most interesting – that a square foot
of air cannot be filled with both
a bicycle and the sound of a bird,
that to lay in the grass and
await the falling leaves is only one thing,
though there be heat, though there be light,
though, elsewhere, there be her
continuing on with her life.
 
 
 

*  *  *

 
On the contrary, he was astounded
to discover it was another, the horse
pulling the carriage through the dandelions
and watching them fold over
 
the weary plaintive whistling
of a lookout over birds
 
or as he kept saying, the moonlight
shining down, the lamplight shining down
 
the boat splashing through the garden
the town speaking to the stranger
 
another fearsome landscape
of beautiful shadows just shaking there,
the dream of which is to be seen
 
or again to be touched
on the cheek – s’etant
endormie doucement –
and inlaid in the cabinet,
shells, the ocean, the piper
piping above the bushes
 
as palms as groves as plans
as charm as safety as danger –
and will you ask again
“What’s that?”
 
Sur les fleur, sur les fleur,
wrapped in a blissful dream
the moonlight shines down
brightly –
 
but I don’t really know that
I just read it in a book.