Bronx, NY PM 9.8.12
There’s a John Wayne in nails
In a diner in Albuquerque. There’s
A Lincoln face made of pennies.
Somewhere in Wisconsin,
A portrait of The Gipper in Jelly
Bellies on a factory wall— Pina
Colada, Red Apple, & Berry
Blue furling behind his square head.
I’ve heard of particulate pseudo-
Paintings in macaroni, but I mis-
Understand it all. I look askance
at it, look in the mirror, splash
Water on my face, towel
It off with my sleeve, David,
I know you see everything
In New York, but you can’t see
what I see now. This big field
of cotton all in bloom. I know
you miss the South. I know
you miss your Momma.
Call me. As a child, Dali painted
Masterpieces across fields of river-
Stones. Shellacked them to the walls,
The ceiling. In time, they’d fall off.
Smooth stones of animal heads
Falling into gazpacho. Murals warped
Across curve, blistered land-
Scape— convex— as if under huge dew.
There’s a woman in the Golden
Crown Panaderia around the corner
Who tells of witnessing her dying
Mother in a cellphone photograph
Of her newly dyed hair. She told me
it looked awful, so I got it done.
When I saw her face in my hair, I knew
I had to say goodbye. She died
the next day. Whether he knows them
Or not I don’t know, but Mr. Morales,
Behind the counter, greets all
The customers the same: Where
have you been! I’ve been waiting for you
all morning. But to me, & my childhood
Friend, he says, All the kids get free
biscochitos & hand us cookies, wrapped
In wax paper. He tells the woman,
I have a philosophy about that. I say
all my goodbyes before my loved-
ones ever leave. When my father
passed on, my brothers were disgusted
I wouldn’t go home for the funeral.
I went to work that morning, like
any other. They couldn’t understand,
I said my goodbyes years ago.
San Antonio is 700 miles from here
but that distance, to me, is nothing.
David Hutcheson & Gabriel Kruis hail from Rocky Mount, North Carolina & Gallup, New Mexico, respectively. They are studying for their MFAs together at Hunter College. Once a month, Gabe runs The Shitluck Reading Series at the Tip Top Bar & Grill in Brooklyn, alongside the poet & total BAMF Caroline Gormley. Shitluck's season finale is May 4th. Check it out!