Last night, Geoff and I playing guitar and Peter Gizzi singing back-up, doing the Gizzi dance, now that was fucking hilarious. His telling us of being 18 at a Pere Ubu show and having David Thomas sign his Collected Poems of Wallace Stevens.
for Peter Gizzi
Through it all, it was what they said that mattered when in the dingy apartment
or at the ballpark, or at the bar where the bartender looked away.
It was what they said that drove us to eek out our lives under this American
umbrella so full of soot.
What a treasure, this small belief in the possibility of greater things, these moments
made verbs: Sitting, playing, talking, making something bright in the dim
minute, a reading lamp illuminating a dusty page.
O so many waves beating against these full hearts, resting in these modern chairs
where it was what they said that mattered.
Getting there—aside the peach-bud maker, the earth-toned willow spears as props
—is less quixotic than say, bringing someone back from the dead.
How dark history and imagining its ghosts beneath the sun, ghosts in our homes
in the works of the dead at their wooden party merged with the present.
Outside there is a sideboard without a mirror, a davenport on the landing, here
an old mattress on the floor.
These things that matter less than what they said to us in our youthful nonchalance
that we are dressed in wrappers and dust-jackets, that we are cursed to sing
nimbly toward that which we’ve almost already sung.
April was just a reference to these preternatural blooms of May we consider so delicate
upon their stalks like waiting for an idea to organize itself and whatnot.