Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2012 v11n1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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How to Survive

Quit smoking. Don’t bet on the horses
at all. And out of the pustules don’t
try to make roses, gems, at last exalt
them into stars. Remember Anthony?

He was never at his window; if ever
he was the beloved it was only as a figure
of Abundance is made of hard grey stone.
Probably he sold drugs to the lax bros

shouting up from the coffee shop patio
where you were twenty-two and loved
a torch song. No one was asking you
to carry carts full of stones, to rent

that apartment full of cave crickets,
to try to vacuum them up. No one
was writing you into a novel although
in complicated dresses you fell off

a scaffold and out of a wheelbarrow
and once disappeared in Memphis
to wake missing nothing but your shoes.
The porter was so kind. Kissed mouths

don’t lose their freshness; like the moon
they turn up new and how to survive
of course you’ve read: only remember
the serenading is always overdone.  end  

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