Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Supermarket in Ohio

What are you thinking tonight, Mr. Ashbery, because I can see you walking the aisles away from pressing thoughts of words and kin? Are you by chance on holidays back in Dreamland where you felt comfortable in? Positioned near the oranges, zucchinis, avocados for colour & flair. There's more to see when you shop for images. Walt Whitman left the streets of New York to be near the melons, wives & babies with cheeks ripe as cherries & tomatoes. Ginsberg found time to follow Walt around, imagining himself the store detective in the corridors of cans. The refrigerator ladened with pork chops sparked more warmth for Ginsberg's poem, than any other I've ever known. Supermarkets can be boring for women, except when they see poets having a love affair with grocery boys. The cashiers, friendly in green, love to chew over them too. They'll tell you about their town; bamboo glade, rope at the creek. Some days the fog smoking the river upstream, sounds of bumble-bees, men pulling oars, the woodland smelling of pine; daddy out fishing. Not like you fishing for rhyme. It's not that I'm having fun, but the pastries and cream are ready to poke holes in.

I first found you in Dreamland, Mr. Ashbery, imagining your world. You didn't worry about the finish line, you let words drift like the wind does. It was definitely a hothouse, all glass and steam. A veritable market garden of green. Culinary herbs, hybrid forms later prepped for peasant dishes like paella, gumbo & pizza. All the colour and flavours mixed together so that we could cook up some prose.

You didn't stay there, did you in the supermarket? You left town, two wheels turning round. I followed your bicycle to Dreamland, felt the draft of hummingbirds coming on, the sun a bright mineral round. Dragonflies formed a dome in the air, and all the rotted docks that were rained on while Whitman was there, you slid on, and you not wanting to leave those distant hills, except for the cold sun going down. What a trip you had with every adjective and noun. The exercise left like a bicycle, the wheels tick, tick, ticking.



Published by Australian Poetry Centre, Melbourne

of Arc & Shadow

of Arc & Shadow
Published by Sunline Press, WA

The Joyous Lake

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