Ed Pavlić: Two Poems


From : Verbatim Kolkata

Horns signal coherence. Signal chaos. The nuance and nerve-twitch cosmos of a living market. It feels everything. You can feel it feeling you. Street kids read something just a horn’s rhythm to the left or right of your mind. They take shortcuts and appear between you and anything you turn toward. They know the market reigns. Work is time sold twice, stolen back, and sold again while the clock sweeps underneath it all in reverse. A barber works the traffic jam. Straight razor, dry foam on a pallet, he shaves the driver of a neighboring car who watches in his rearview mirror. The driver’s thumbs don’t pause on the horn as if the rhythm preserves his craned, taut-skin neck and the claim on the space his car and barber occupy. The space bought by the horn is the barber’s overhead. In your mouth, you taste the flat brass of a moment come alive. Presence. Sold. Night doesn’t trade in flesh for nothing and it doesn’t wait for the day to end. It passes in a rickshaw, bright sky rolled up and tied with a sash, it opens east down a mother’s red sleeve and glows on the bridge of her son’s nose. The Baul play the night’s raw silk for whatever’s on your mind to give away. The music’s thumb on the pulse of light’s own way of agreeing to disagree with the dark.



Sit here dipped in the sound of ice in a glass in the sound of the rubber fringe of the fridge door Sit here and wait for the song to repeat and repeat and take me apart here and wait and apart and wait for the phone not to ring and not to ring and not and when it rings it’s the Georgia State Patrol wondering if they this can’t be what they said can it? can come on over and finish the job Sit with these drum-machine-ass limbs and hair-trigger brows set at locked and loaded Bet your woman’s other man’s bottom dollar on these hollow fingertips The neighbor from the crack spot next to the church c.m.e. you think I’m lying? hips his dips past the house he doesn’t nod or turn he knows better than to question the bass line pulling the night’s breath from under my door or the slow curve glow of red on the back of the blinds The red? That’s just me and the hell of me and my old friend Chicago and the stripes on my hands The glow? We’re at it again listening to Deveon on the only youtube hit we could find for Smoke City My friend’s last name? Cutlery You should see the metal tusk smile at me close-up in the red and the glow and the hourglass of memory in Deveon’s lost voice My friend here smiles a missing eye tooth and Deveon blows and I turn around as if he’s in the backseat of Big Ric’s Porsche and he’s not Deveon’s last name? Overton : And Big Ric’s Porsche no saying where he got it but I’ll say this : you could leave it unlocked anywhere on the South Side and come back and find it gone until you find it back washed waxed and a new joint in the ashtray Now here in this broke down Southern town tonight the name of the one now he’s dipping his hip back past the house? Don’t know From the doorway I say “Going and coming” And he “you know it” as if asif he knows I know he knows something And as if he hides most of himself and whatever he thinks I know he knows behind the white-hot crack curtain laced in his head under his brain like a mirror-blind pillow He’s the lucky one Least that’s what he insisted last night when he stopped for a light and cocked his pistol a .38 looked like to me and pointed it at Luna and Lucy slow-dragging with the stoplight pole on the corner of North and King

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