SECTION SEVENTEEN
POETRY PAGE FIVE


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COLUMN FIFTY-SEVEN, MARCH 1, 2001
(Copyright 2001 Al Aronowitz)

[Em Franco writes: "Hello, hello. My (pen)name's Em Franco & I love writing. I started 
writing a few yrs. ago, been writing off and on since. I find that it helps keep my sanity 
intact."]

THE DAY I DECIDED TO BECOME INVISIBLE

A new sky appeared before an old sky. Neon lights
descending from above jettisoned from a new height
and came down upon me with a message, encoded in
Esperanto, telling me not to be afraid no more...NO
MORE. I have been answered. This is the story of
my life five minutes before the bomb hit.

I've always known this day would come. As a child
I used to catch birds with my bare hands pluck its
wings while it was still beating asking for
forgiveness. Then with my very own home-made lasso
I would tie its neck until blood purifies itself.
"Do you ache like I ache?"

They will lick you clean until you are whole
again. Here in your new clothes you will stand
before me unable to utter a word beyond all
recognition. You have been swimming too long in the
pond you're growing fins. You're not Odysseus you
are a termite stuck in a pig bubble, designed to
devour a feast with your legs. Do you want
some music while you work? Some Korn perhaps?

Pillars toppling down/building/sky
towers/departmentstores/all in one fine heap.
While I'm sitting down in an elevator
trying to invent the meaning of life, trying to decide
who to tell my secrets first. ##

                                                                * * *

HOW TO BUILD AN EMPIRE

She's looking at you
with her glass eyes
Don't look so surprised.
Don't come too close
The buildings will crack.
They're looking at you
with their glass eyes.
Don't look so surprised.
Picket fence around your house
Roses bloom every night.
You can't squirm your way out
of this one.
If the world ends tonight
while you're retreating
You won't find anything
when you wake up.
Everyone gets a souvenir.
A bronze medallion
to keep you warm.
Somebody will dig him up,
Put him back to pieces.
nothing nothing nothing
Nothing can be saved.
Nothing can be saved.
(Nothing can be saved)

But Say........

You will never be complete. Every night I burn a white
candle for your soul, and for a moment we remember each
other. Every morning I loose you. I like the thought
of you going away for a while.
It makes me new. It makes me think of fresh apples and
cinnamon. It makes the idea of loosing you again
easy. ##

                                                                * * *

# letter number 17

I am thinking of you this evening. In contrast Outside
People are being slaughtered
by this wet weather. And how you might feel when you
find me? They will sleep hungry
and tuck their bellies inside their sweater as they
dream of fire. Will you be sad?
Are we children, still? One man will die tonight
No. 18. As he invents a lucky number
a seizure will take him in his sleep. I swear
I can't feel you anymore.
The sun will rise at dawn and his mother will never
wake up.
Maybe because I'm seeing you for the first time
& Things are becoming
Real and you feel like you're about to say goodbye.

Pine leaves fall gently as snow. ##

                                                                * * *

A DAY IN THE BARRIO

Looking up there you would think there's enough for
everyone. Ancient clouds burn in your hands like
coins. All at once I am a child again. Begging for
your forgiveness. Doesn't it feel like a fiesta?
The cool breeze in your hair streaked/ share all
the colors of the rainbow. Like the spider of my
youth that burn to the touch. It is a day of clay.
I can turn you into any form.
Yes lady! today you are a marble statue, your
stomach green your eyes a peach globed in my hands
I slice you in half to make you even. You have the
feel of cold tile under my feet. /buzzing of flies
feasting on day old's porridge/ cracking on
grandma's nuts.
Children lay down on the streets to die alone.
The sun yellow on their foreheads.
The smell of cow is everywhere. As I read another
slogan that would save a child from drowning.
A picture of marsupial mothers rotate in head.
As she walks away empty handed I ask once again for
forgiveness. ##

                                                                * * * 

A GATHERING OF POEMS

Ode to my favorite Rockstar

Hold my hand
I cannot die alone
Water evades me like a thought.
All these lights hovering above me

The sky neon
like a filtering statue.
I'd like to tell you something
I never wanted anything much.
I was never in want

-of things
Every day the night hurts me
Nighthawks circle me like flies
All I have are my hands
to guide me against this darkness.

But when I feel like you are
close then the nighthawks
are very far away.

I was never in want.

-of things ##

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