Mary Jo Bang

Light under the sky, the window not open...

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Rude Mechanicals

                            Against a white wall someone’s hair was a treetop, the body,the trunk of a tree. It was a time when everyone said,behind every great veil is only a human. If there was an overall ethos, it was self-forgetful guilt and sorrow was real enough. I don’t know how the stage curtain caught fire, she’d said. And I don’t how reluctance to act became a machine sucking air from every sulcus and Grand Canyon canyon.

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A feeling of something indefinable but not right. Not comfortable. A rushing. Sometimes I have to stop And sort out time at cyberspeed.   It’s supposed to arrive “between 2 and 3 in the morning.” The very specificity of the promise makes me disbelieve. If it ever arrives, I’ll say, Good, that’s over. That little irritating suspense.   The hollowing wait. The stupid want For good news. No bad. What more can one ask for? One day more over in the prison Of childhood. The runaway fantasies.   The retreat into the open mind, That mysterious conceptual nothing. Distant fireworks.

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