Steve Dalachinsky

st. lucy in chartres

hand on
feels for piano stool
begins to play with her left
monkish tune
tune for forlorn lovers
                                                  (insert: ruby my dear)
             so involved  distracted bytherhythmbythe music’s light
right hand relaxes
                              plate       S
                                                                   S         eyes                          
                                                                                        to      FLOOr

                               wobble ‘round    come to rest @ her feet

          plate follows  shattering her spell
                                                                      she rises    steps

              her   eyes                 no longer             her eyes.

                                                           chartres 2/20/04


   dear steve i’m not able to use any of the enclosed but i’d like to use one word from your 1000 page poem by itself for our minimalist poetry section. it will go well with other minimalist poetry i’ve accepted for that section. thanks for giving me a chance to see your work. regards michael. dear steve good indeed to hear from you and to receive the haiku. it’s been a long time.some close ones but still not quite. keep at them for us. regards bob. dear steve i still like the 2 i said i liked last time but overall your work isn’t for us. as you can see ( or can you? ) we have extremely high standards. so we’ll have to pass on these but do feel free to try us again in the future. regards bobmichael dear steve we have very high standards ( or do we? )
  but we cannot use any of these though they come close we like them all and the one word we decided to use from your 1000 page poem we are no longer going to use due in part or mainly to a space problem ? actually we no longer really like the word so because we have very high standards and because we never told you we were going to use your work in the first place ( or did we? ) we’re just not going to use your work and that’s that. regards michaelbob. steve here’s a couple of copies of the book. we’ll now print a limited edition of 75 copies signed and #'d by us. it will be riddled with typos ( at least one on every line of every page of the book. that’s the least we can do for you since you are not getting paid. ) thanks again for sending a completely unflawed manuscript. we will soon be sending you an uncorrected proof filled with the mistakes we have made while persuing its publication. regards mobichael. dear steve sorry the book was too big for us and the manuscript too good. and besides correcting all those typos we made will just be too time consuming. try us again in the fall. regards bichaelmob. dear steve did you actually ever send us your work. regards bombichael. dear steve thanks for thinking of us. if you’d like a sample copy of our publication in order to better get an idea of the type of work we use please send us a blank check and we will be glad to send you one postage paid ( or is it ? )
  dear steve after severely editing your work we realize it is no longer a worthwhile piece of writing so we are returning it with suggestions. we would however love to publish your bio instead.   dearstevedearstevedearstevedearstevedearstevedearstevedearstevedearstevedearstevede

Le Gamin

the fresh orange juice 
tastes great
& the cafe has 3 beautiful young waitresses
all who take turns waiting on me
it is a clear beautiful day  slight wind  
i sit outside

though i am very tired
their beauty does not escape me
even thru the restaurant windows
one of them is new
thin tall black 
it is the day after independence day
the sound of construction  everywhere
the sky clouds over a bit
my merguez sandwich arrives
a bit of yugen
all this senses-filling stuff

i am very hungry
the sausage is very spicy
the laughing woman at the opposite table
has splendid cleavage
how luxurious this miserable soul feels
even though my cuticles are bitten down 
to their bloody roots

compulsive behavior
allows for only 2 solutions
indulge in it
or ignore it

ice water with lemon
cafe aulait

the check is expensive
clouds fill my eyes
one must be kind to one self sometimes

i think  i shall eat in this cafe every moment 
that i have.

                                                                                 7/8/01   nyc


he says he was abducted by aliens   in the 60's.
i say we were all abducted by aliens.
she says   “i never knew trees were alive like animals but now i know they enjoy feeling the air.”
the water runs.    leaves run along the bank   “look   a hawk,”  she says.  crowlike chatter.         
the car smells like dog.
                                  the shelter smells like winter is coming.
        homeless flesh  depositing itself everywhere.
by the stream                      under a tree.
    in the cafe.           on the village green.           along the side of the road.
                   even in front of the computer at the local library.

the stream is saying something.
she watches the sky thru the holes in the few remaining leaves.
aliens must have abducted us.

he disappears    into the air   like a decorated buddha 
his purple swollen feet   surely from another place
the base of the tree retaining his quietly arching shape.

she holds up a leaf as big as her face.
“your mask”  i  say  “for tonight’s parade.”
“so big. who made this?   nobody.”  she says  “i know you’re not but i’m happy i’m here. thank you.”

                       i have enough pebbles already         the stream keeps saying
                          the clouds   what can be said about the clouds anymore?

she squats to pee. we are all aliens. must have been abducted. aliens inducted. trees are weird. 
she says. they must have been abducted. i laugh. the stream says something. it must have been 
abducted. the clouds. what can i say about the clouds? the seed that spills along the shore. the 
mating hawks. 

“they threw me out of HEAVEN.”   he says.  we are all aliens. must all have been abducted.

“oh you’re going as adam?”  he asks.  “no. as adam’s dick.”  i answer. the leaf as big as her chest, 
my eve..she must have been abducted. the light at dusk seduces us & we are made to feel 
abducted. surrounded by a circle of light that illuminates the clinging leaves. the light. the light. 
my costume for the parade.
                                                            woodstock n.y. 
                                                            halloween  10/31/00

Theodore Enslin ( summer )

summer gives no reasons
summer has no cause
summer wants no money
summer wears no jewelry
summer loses nothing as it grinds into 
the rocks
summer carries nothing as it sears the 
angels’ cheeks
summer is above the law
like an old whore that’s always virgin
like a ring of handy pebbles
a tire of fleeting clouds
summer is no optimist
summer lights no torches
summer leaves no scars
summer harbors doubt
summer needs no paddles
summer wears no lampshade
summer gives no statements
summer has no reason
summer lights no candles
summer traces no circles
summer leaves no traces
summer wants no breakfast
is the last place to look
summer is no dinner
summer won’t use head phones
summer sounds like some more
summer will come no more
summer rides like a virgin thru a sticky
summer picks no winners
summer surfs no channels
summer wears no make up
summer is no tour bus
summer has no gender
summer takes no photos
summer makes no difference
summer moves no vehicles
summer’s not the king of beers
summer needs no vitamins
summer wears no shoes
summer seeks no vengeance
summer is no pilot
summer has no body
delivers no speeches
summer carries no flowers
summer birthes no babies
summer rides no elevators
summer wears no dresses
summer lacks in learning
summer has nobody
summer wants no clothing
summer steals no footprints
summer requires no maintenance
summer needs no neck brace
forgos embraces
seeks no tributes
summer walks with a wiggle
summer shows its legs off
summer skins the landscape
summer wants for nothing
summer lacks for nothing
summer needs for nothing
summer yearns for nothing
summer takes its hat off
summer leaves its hat on
summer wears a straw hat
summer  needs no hat
summer plays no music
summer makes no sound
summer burns at both ends
summer must live uptown
summer visits downtown
summer carries no passport
summer travels where it pleases
summer uses a cane
summer has no cane
summer rocks its surroundings
summer surrounds the rocks
as do we all

summer’s gone fishing
summer’s gone hunting
summer’s gone for a walk
summer has no smell
summer is my neighbor
is an ocean that begets the swimmer’s arms
is a street that stinks of hustlers
is another  non-paying gig

summer is an ocean that begets the swimmer’s arms
is a song that makes no sound
is a street that smells of hustlers
is not gov’t
has no dreams
needs no drugs
takes no money
gives no answers
raises no questions
opens no windows
wears no wedding ring
waits for no one
can’t please everyone
has no future

eats my heart out.
                                                                       nyc   6/26/29/01

Poet/collagist Steve Dalachinsky was born in Brooklyn after the last big war and has managed to survive lots of little wars. His book The Final Nite (Ugly Duckling Presse) won the PEN Oakland National Book Award. His most recent books are Fools Gold (2014 feral press), a superintendent's eyes (revised and expanded 2013 - unbearable/ autonomedia), flying home, a collaboration with German visual artist Sig Bang Schmidt (Paris Lit Up Press 2015), The Invisible Ray, with artwork by Shalom Neuman, from Overpass Press, "5-COLOR ASSORTMENT" Chameleon Too from Redfox Press, and FROZEN HEATWAVE with Yuko Otomo, from Luna Bisonte Prods. His latest cd is The Fallout of Dreams with Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach (Roguart 2014). His poem “Particle Fever” was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart Prize.

(Editor's Note: Steve Dalachinsky passed away on September 16. He will be deeply missed.)
previous page     contents     next page


Post a Comment

<< Home