Thursday, January 27, 2011

I Am But a Traveler In This Land & Know Little of Its Ways


Is everything a field of energy caused
by human projection? From the crib bars
hang the teething tools. Above the finger-drummed 
desk, a bit lip. The cyclone fence of buts
surrounds the soccer field of what if.
Sometimes it seems like a world where no one 
knows what he or she is doing, eight lanes 
both directions. How about a polymer
that contracts in response to electrical
charge? A swimming pool on the 18th floor? 
King Lear done by sock puppets? Anyone
who has traveled here knows the discrepancies
between idea and fact. The idea is the worm 
in the tequila and the next day is the fact. 
In between may be the sacred—real blood 
from the wooden virgin’s eyes, and the hoax—
landing sites in cornfields. Maybe ideas
are best sprung from actions like the children 
of Zeus. One gives us elastic and the omelette, 
another nightmares and SUVs. There’s considerable
wobble in the system, and the fan belt screams, 
waking the baby. Swaying in the darkened 
nursery, kissing the baby-smelling head: 
good idea! But also sadness looking at the sea.
The stranded whale, guided out of the cove 
by tugboats, turns and swims back in. 
The violinist will not let go her violin 
which is 200 years old and still on the train
thus she is dragged down the track. 
By what manner is the soul joined to the body? 
Answer: an arm connecting a violin
to a violinist. According to Freud,
there are no accidents. Astrologists
and Presbyterians agree for different reasons. 
You fall down the stairs with a birthday cake. 
You try to fit a blunderbuss into a laptop.
Human consciousness: is it the projector
or the screen? They come in orange jumpsuits 
and spray the grass so everything dies
but the grass. It is too late to ask Kafka
what he thinks. Sometimes they give you 
a box of ash, a handshake, and the rest 
is your problem. In one version,
the beggar turns out to be a king and grants
the poor couple a castle and a moat and two 
silver horses said to be sired by the wind.
That was before dentistry, which might have been 
a better gift. You did not want to get sick 
in the 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th or 18th centuries.
So too the 19th and 20th were to be avoided
but the doctor coming to bleed you is the master 
of the short story. After the kiss from whom 
he will never know, the lieutenant, going home,
touches a bush in which birds are singing.

~ Dean Young
from Skid

As you may know, Dean is in need of a heart transplant.

Over the past 10 or 15 years, Dean has lived with a degenerative heart condition--congestive heart failure due to idiopathic hypotropic cardiomyopathy. After periods of more-or-less remission, in which his heart was stabilized and improved with the help of medications, the function of his heart has worsened. Now, radically.
a video by D.J. Dolack of the recent benefit reading for dean Young at the National Arts Club in Manhattan.
Readers include Robert N. Casper, Joe Di Prisco, Matthea Harvey, Edward Hirsch, Mary Karr, Matthew Rohrer, Gerald Stern and Dara Wier.
...and Dean Young on the telephone.

To make an online donation, please visit Dean Young's page at the National Foundation for Transplants.

thanks to Rebel Girl for the update