Rodney Koeneke


Gulls hit the breeze to no purpose,
With a snotty air of menace
Hanging above the Victorian pleasure halls
Attitudinizing as ruins
On some significant Greek beach

And you, a rube or twerp ephebe
Fit for no better than this aqueous squat
Fresh from fishing car seats
For old doubloons, going golden
With rocks in your mouth

Look how the pines learn to bend,
To brood-
that's an image of you,
Of your music, mooning at teens
Paired up in parking lots

Doing their best for the kelp-lock'd god
In pursuance of a hidden ordinance
That trumps the interdictions
About cars being placed here
After the hour of six o'clock

A rule that salts their pleasure
Like the urgent lollapalooza
Of the seals,
Insisting that sex is more sexy
Against the backdrop of the ocean's bricolage,

Its monstrous investment
In useless things-a tree, a boot,
A ferris wheel
Around which mastiffs can run.

Dissolve the rank corporation of yourself
And you wake up as fresh
As Rene Crevel, a sight more fruitful
Than the bottlecaps
Which you formerly wedged into quarter slots
In hopes that the gypsies would giggle
From their glassy catafalques at you.

Night gets more mom-like
And wakes up the sleepier stars
In time for their midnight photo shoot,
A sepia daguerreotype
Where here there's a pillar
Here a stern fern

And we all hold our breath
Till the blinding flash
Assembles us into gradations of light
Against that vast and talking blues
Formerly known as sky.