blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



Control C
     Crispin beheld and Crispin was made new.
                        —Wallace Stevens, “The Comedian as the Letter C”

My thumb joint through
the glass the water’s held in, curled
                       —a poppyseed-in-teeth guile,

the way he keeps repeating: To tell you the truth.

Control C, control see, control sea, as in
the waves of salt down my face,
Try it—
the E equals me squared, the catalyst

                                    the water down,

thumb crook and truth and dare you.

                                                The day he beheld
his first screen, fingers poised,

every stroke soon truth
or emoticon, the machine’s Ha-Ha—
            that day he saw.
            So many C’s opening on
the ocean, swimming beside the boat
transparent in all but the alimentary coils,
mere spawn—

the gulls sieve for them.

Seasonally, when sex heats up,
            the beige daily asks
the fellow on the train if, at his job,
any C can be controlled.

                                    I mostly drink,
he says. I don’t play those games.

See as in seizure,

Mama, see?
over and over until he’s old enough and she can’t
tell the truth from the bottom of the glass—


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