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Chad Sweeney

CAPTAIN’S LOG

The only art
is the opaque art
of surfaces,
wind that stirs

the puppets,
little billowings
in the sleeves.
I came by earlier to tell you:

a man holds up the corner
of a building
after the bars have closed,
a noun is verbing

and it’s 3 A.M.
according to the stop sign
lit green by a flare.
Nearby, a patrol boat

goes dark under the pylons
of a bridge. Call out
in case someone needs your help.

 

SILENCE

I was on the way to buy myself back
between 11th and Mariposa.

Light hung on the fences,
smoke vented from the ruins.

I was on the way to buy myself
between the sign and the signified

between hey man and who’s that
between the gesture and the crisis.

A bus plummeted from the overpass
to pick up a woman who’d been dreaming.

Blind woman. Paper boa.
Black umbrella in the sun.

There was no one there to see her
but a mirror in the gutter.

I arrived through seven moods
through the doctrine to the error

between the station and the station
on the way to buy myself.

Inside the woman
was a city of sound.

She had to find it in the dark.
She had to build it every morning.

I arrived through seven alleys
through the faith to the erasure.

We waited for the bus
inside her thought shaped like a tunnel.

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