Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bright and Noisy as a Fight

Long checkout line: East Village supermarket on Fourteenth,
a day before July the Fourth: lugging yet another gallon
of my cherished fat-free milk (love to chug it from the jug) – two
packages of pasta – orzo, bowties: and sweet-pepper-and-tomato
(tossed a slew of silly metaphors into unpalatable stew,
eschewing clarity for inky postulations that relied for their

splayed hoo-ha of confused relations on disparities as thick
as smudges on a drunken urban planner’s city grid – which like
a squid – look what it did! – I sprayed all over that last screen
of obfuscation I just left on my computer – ouch!)
– sharp dig
into my ankle by a stick: I turned around to see a blind man
in dark glasses navigate the space between me and the rest

of his presumably unfathomable lightless panoply: I tried
to steer him closer to the register – “big crowd!” – I said – no
answer: grabbed my hand, inspected it as if it were an unshelled
clam – then rammed his wagon sharply into my left hamstring:
tingles still! – guessed the man did not speak English
with poetry today or any day – those mindless stabs

of lilting nonsense that won’t leave my ear and nose and groin
and heart and butt and toes alone)
– bought my stuff and helped
the man unload his jars of apple juice and rolls of toilet tissue
to the moving belt towards the checkout lady who informed me
just before I left that “that old man behind you isn’t only blind,
he’s deaf.” City’s suddenly as bright and noisy as a fight.


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