The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Wednesday and Mount Vernon Fair

Ghost Story
By Matthew Dickman

for matthew z and matthew r

I remember telling the joke
about child molestation and seeing
the face of the young man
I didn't know well enough
turn from something with light
inside of it into something like
an animal that's had its brain
bashed in, something like that, some
sky inside him breaking
all over the table and the beers.
It's amazing, finding out
my thoughtlessness has no bounds,
is no match for any barbarian,
that it runs wild and hard
like the Mississippi. No, the Rio Grande.
No, the Columbia. A great river
of thorns and when this stranger
stood up and muttered
something about a cigarette,
the Hazmat team
in my chest begins to cordon
off my heart, glowing
a toxic yellow,
and all I could think about
was the punch line "sexy kids,"
that was it, "sexy kids," and all the children
I've cared for, wiping
their noses, rocking them to sleep,
all the nieces and nephews I love,
and how no one ever
opened me up like can of soup
in the second grade, the man
now standing on the sidewalk, smoke smothering
his body, a ghost unable
to hold his wrists down
or make a sound like a large knee in between
two small knees, but terrifying and horrible all the same.


The above was the Poem-a-Day at the Academy of American Poets site. Dickman's All-American Poem was released in 2008.

I had a quiet busy Tuesday morning doing laundry and work so I could go play in the evening with gblvr and another friend. I am back to February 2005 in my project to save each page of my LiveJournal with the photos, and the process gets slower and slower because I keep stopping to reread things I'd forgotten about. Today I was trying to figure out how every single comment by a certain person had disappeared from my journal -- comments, replies to comments, it's as if the person never existed, though I had thought that when one deleted one's journal, the username would appear crossed out rather than simply disappearing. Does this mean that LiveJournal booted the user for TOS violations, or that the person deleted every single word she ever said to me? Or when a journal is purged and someone else gets the username, do posts by the person who formerly had the username disappear?

My evening involved a lot of jewelry browsing, though I was the only one of us who didn't actually buy any. First I went browsing the glittery stuff in Temptations while waiting for gblvr, then I had a cheese crepe instead of Indian food like the others because my stomach is still upset with me for reasons unknown. Then we went to Brighton, which has a "buy beads, get the bracelet free" promotion going, but I already have the bracelet and they told me that under the terms of the promotion, I couldn't have another, so I refrained from buying the bee charm and bead to go with my ladybugs. It's always fun playing with beads, though. And Brighton had chocolate chip cookies.

The good news about Don't Ask, Don't Tell ending is overshadowed for me by the fact that Georgia is apparently going to execute Troy Davis; I said here that I agreed with the Casey Anthony verdict despite all the public ranting because there appeared even from my distance to be obvious reasonable doubt, so I want to say publicly that it is a travesty of justice for a state to put procedure ahead of what appears to be a preponderance of new evidence that casts a great deal of doubt on the guilt of a man sentenced to die. I don't know whether Davis is innocent or guilty; I only know that, because there are so many questions, and because this is a case involving a black man rather than a pretty white woman so it hasn't been so interesting to the media, the state of Georgia is showing everything that is wrong with the death penalty and I would so much rather risk a murderer going free.

Jon Stewart just told his Emmy Award that he beat her to sleeping with Stephen Colbert; meanwhile Colbert can't tell Downton Abbey from a Grey Poupon commercial, hahaha. Some more photos from Mount Vernon's Colonial fair last weekend:


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