Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Hello," by Oliver De La Paz


Hello, constellation—my other face
as suburbia explodes at dawn.

Windy hello, my blown-away papers,
        sheets radiating like dandelion seeds.

Hello, silo's gleaming tin saying, breathe as I pass along the highway.
        Shiny hello.

Guard at the halfway house disappearing for an hour, hello.
        I missed the light off your sunglasses.

Hello, footfall on sand tilting the earth's axis, its darkening arch.

My blue blanket, childhood bleached in the yard—hello.

My crickets playing their hairs: tchick tchick,
        like some dying machine—hello.

Hello, hirsute walking away from the circus tent,
        your eyes flickering in the afternoon like wild butane lighters,

My curtain to a darkroom letting me see a fingernail of red light—
        I think of bathing in hotels. Hello hotels,
        sunshine, and complimentary coffee.

Perfume on a hot day. Hello Cecelia from sixth grade
        who had worn no underwear for Social Studies. . . I was at the
            desk behind you
        when you turned and froze me with your teeth.

Colder than hello, my saxophone—I don't play.

My jazz of hard liquor. My drunk, hello,
        who approaches my car saying, "You are shameless, you are
        Meanwhile, the sunlight off broken glass is everywhere.

Hello shame. Hello and thanks. My devilish . . . with her spiky heels.
        Been long.

Hello sadness, beautiful, beautiful.

Hello, hat on the bed struck by a sunbeam
        serving as a symbol as the rattle of the gravel trucks
        returns you to the world.

Hello again, Cecelia, your mouth shut
        after seeing your lover pour gasoline on his hands. Hello

Hello, my hunger, angry at yourself. Hello, yourself.

Hello to myself who has no moonlight. Moonlight spangled hello.

My God, hello. You left your wallet and your keys. Where are you
        going without them? You can’t go far. Not far at all.

Source of the text - Poetry 30: Thirtysomething American Thirtysomething Poets, edited by Dan Crocker and Gerry La Femina.  DuBois, PA: Mammoth Books, 2005.

TJB: Associative aubade. The poet starts this good-humored litany greeting specific & concrete things then moves more interior & ends in prayer.

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