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The Gods that Sleep in Museums

Jul. 25, 2010
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Light rock is final, this bubble is a full bazaar.
What floats is gold. The pink house is famous—
Dies young from dampness. Blue leaves in the breeze
Flipped with anxious ink, they cover the pages.

That hotel is full, each window a livelihood, all
Spangled glass, shingles and slippery marble. Slowly
We wake in corners, drowsy twos with heavy lids.

Let’s make a mess of our tablecloth with thick
Old fingers failing, saintly as the pouring

The air is a dearest yield of marine—
That blue would have a cadaver compare with paint
Or the stillness of a city from a passing train

(Pilfered silver, stolen gold, tight dips in the depth of field).

From cashmere to felt is butter to water, copse to cobble—
Wrought to cast, comparisons therein.

The piazza fills with dark stone and dirty maroon machines.

The fallow fountain still sown in hopes
Of a rusty buttress to support the spray, the grapes under coffers—
Scumble, skein and the surface vellum provides sanguine.

So the inching of their fingertips and the giving of their tired
Tongues. Outside the wicked duck. Outside the more wicked
Goose. Faraway the wickedest gull (coyote of birds).

Cold star tea-bag in a big, old, tin cup. January and her
Deep bitch of cold— costumes and gambol. January and her
Smudges glistening in the hint of sun soon lost.

Scratchy ink, trick-broken wings, sponge and lungs, sloppy beard

And hands disembodied all over the background.

Scott Zieher won the 2004 Emergency Press book contest for his book-length poem, VIRGA. His second book, IMPATIENCE was published by Emergency Press in 2009 and in February 2010, powerHouse Books published BAND OF BIKERS, a collection of found photographs from 1972. Recent poetry has appeared in The Believer, Jubilat, KNOCK and The Iowa Review. He was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin and in 2009 won the University of Wisconsin at Waukesha Outstanding Alumni Award. He is owner of the contemporary art gallery ZieherSmith, established in 2003. 


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