The Argotist Online
I am a graduate student in philosophy at Temple University. My first book of poems, Taste: Gastronomic Poems (Blazevox, 2005), and novel Inverted Curvatures (Spuyten Duyvil, 2005) were recently published. Poems of mine have been published in Mudlark, Conundrum, Chain, Big Bridge, Bird Dog, Caffeine Destiny, and Can We Have Our Ball Back? among others. My critical work can be found in Jacket, Clamor, The Electronic Book Review, The Emergency Almanac, The Morning News, The Brooklyn Rail, Media and Culture, In These Times, The Fulcrum Annual, Rain Taxi, and Pavement Saw.
Piles of Gifts
The iron removes itself twice:
from simple business shirts
then again from voice skins;
either one should have been half-priced.
I still would have accepted the gift.
However, I would have liked to know
just exactly what kind of friend you are.
Somehow the guilt of returning
those painted earrings and polka-dot prints
would have charged inside out
if I have known which sales you peruse.
Did you even think of me
when you threw your hand in the pile?
You bicker, haggle down the cost,
present each faux Etruscan casting
to individuals from disparate realms
who would never bump into each otherís
houses to pee or peek in the windows for
half a teaspoon of salt or vinegar
or search under the beds of each otherís hair.
But you donít understand set theory.
You left the iron on.
It comes back to this place of spilled onions
Not because of layers, but because animals wonít eat them.
It comes back totally human, totally social,
With three fingers, maybe four, swirling soup ruckus.
Because you might have been here before
Doors with credit-card symbols affixed.
No one registers, man the canyons. We may have
Entered an era where everyone knows his domain;
As if the signals on buses never misfired,
As if I shouldnít laugh at you for being,
Not to mention appearing Ö
piece of an almond cracker
into my open pocket
a male beta
to be a human rights activist
more probably right here in America:
relation to knowledge
and online forms
to create our representatives.
pocketís seams finally burst
is given a proper burial
a fistful of fake ruins
of course melts
uneaten fish food
the dead zone
parties in New Orleans.
copyright © Francis Raven