David Meltzer

From the Dream

Tina's naked back suddenly available to my touch before the phone rings
with the wrong number.


Eating an olive filled with forgiveness.


Buying you a bird which refuses to fly or speak and in fast-motion
decays and dies and is a tiny pyramid of muddy feathers.


The glisten applied to your eyelids .


Shekinah is wingless and is cleaning wineglasses from the night before
with a soap that smells of mulched roses.


How many more years to undream?


How to re-dream?


Embers of your heat are mirages like steam I reach for before they turn
into cold awakening.


Life on Line

as I’ve known it
now I don’t
own it
it owns me

lined up
against perp wall
scanned by another
anonymous eye

whoever I am
is irregardless &
decreased by
false diction

email nails
nothing down

continuity for
nothing happening
in the flaming edges of
planetary suicide

whose side are you on
& why?

Future’s medieval
& past has passed
& now’s glory icon
is Adam naked
in Iraq prison
Candid Camera

Get down
go down
Moishe & Mohammed
tangle w/ nude Yeshouah
poked & shocked &
porked by
apple pie G.I.s

wholly holy war
victims in rictus
seized embryo fist

losing the capacity
to be human in
whatever deep gloss
& glaze that keyword

electric lines plug
into hooded naked men
on display in Bloomingdale’s
hopeful nightengales
too shocked to sing

war smut
known as power boner

we live in the shoe of the few
whose foot flattens us
each time they step down

I would’ve been a fool
but byte-sized down
to a clown
who amuses not confuses

On line all the clues
stun & dun the rage

On line
like a shiny fish

On line
for the cool chez
for the hot new

On line
cell or DSL
integer of
where you belong
& prefer to stay
& pay for
& some can pray too
& prey
which is their priviledge

Class apartheid
US democracy aristo-crassness
mimes & mines
masks & masques
power plays & ploys
oys & veys
yo & ho
who all go nowhere
beyond the loop
they loop
which girds & binds
all to no forward
hamster wheel
real deal

David Meltzer began his literary career in San Francisco, reading poetry to jazz accompaniment at the famous Jazz Cellar. David's Copy: The Selected Poems of David Meltzer, edited by Michael Rothenberg, was published last year by Penguin Books. A complete list of his books can be found here.

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