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Amanda Smeltz

October Poem



             The Breslin earns a Michelin star!

Air radiates cinnamon,      bags glow Gorilla

coffee: charred banana tree


                      we watch looped films of John Reich and

Coltrane doing whole pieces in E

On E    how do you sustain variety

  but oh Johnny do    &     oh honey don’t


New York like it might’ve been:

              SPAGHETTI 30¢ and womp womp

    on the trombone

New York like it is:

            Baby boutiques       pruned shivering

      dogs       food blogs and matching bracelets




     swing batter

It’s Doctober!    my brother hollers




Today the blue air is a bioluminescent

     starfish     over the cigarettes.


Skip the poet café

       Skip the Michelin party    (tired      of floral wallpaper,

   powdered noses, devils on horseback)

Sit alone           in Brooklyn; bloom into gin,

     suffer the moron from San Diego

     hassling Frankie the bartender.


Think shut it. Write your poems

    to the candle dance

and anise.     This is where

the one you muse on       sits & squints

    with Don DeLillo.


Would he like your hair?

          He lifts a thing with lemon,

                           & all that    in a cardigan


Are you talking

    to the string bass

or saran wrap   or

    the crushed ice?


                               For once are you talking

                                       to the light

                          which is tiny    & votive    which is not like the sun


  are you talking to the sun?



They’ll tease your carrying voice

    from bedrooms on corners

  and chuckle.

                          Whatever, whatever. Soon

              darkly you’ll rise –


                            though October,

                                         and you   frustrated in your endeavors.


Look to the cool

          serenity    of the unassuming

   hands-in-the-sink     polishing glass


Awake under an armpit

rub your nose to find

the one who ambles through your mind

is watching

              clips of film directors

    saying never resolve,


no happy answers

easy light

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