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  #1  
Unread 08-30-2019, 11:51 AM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Default Yes or No (Full)

Yes or No

Orin the seer is snoring on your floor.
“That is where I prefer to sleep,” he said.
Li-ling went “just to lie down on the bed”
(which means “to nap”) a good half-hour ago.
Even Savannah has been sleeping for,
my God, like three hours straight.
my God, like three hours straight. Yep, you alone
are up and asking questions: Yes or No,
can prophets really see what is to come?
How does it work? One gets “into the zone”
and views, like in a film, some future scene?
What would the bits of vision issue from?
From God? From Time? What would that even mean?
And who decides who sees? Why should a bum
like Orin get the gift?
like Orin get the gift? Oh well, you’ll stake
your life, for Li-ling’s and the baby’s sake,
on his abilities. You’ll see this through,
trusting that he’s inspired.
trusting that he’s inspired. As if on cue,
the ragged prophet snorts himself awake
and, all eyes, says, “Earth’s entrails will divide!
I see a shattered ballpark in the Bronx.
I hear the highways splintering and honks
and crashes everywhere. Soon, soon, the fourth
omen will be fulfilled, and you, my guide,
must take me to its heart. We’re heading north!”

. . . . .

How could you not be pissed, since, all the way
up Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard
and over the Macombs Dam (swinging) Bridge,
you, chump, have had the painful privilege
of being an insane man’s bodyguard?
The dude would not, for all that you could say,
quit hanging out the window like a dog
and bellowing his epic catalog
of omens prophesying Kingdom Come.
Ten times you had to reach across and grab
his belt and yank him back into the cab.

Now that you are across the Harlem River
and coming up on Yankee Stadium,
however, he is silent. What’s the matter?
The freak’s just sitting there, all furrowed brow,
all sweat and dread. And then he bellows, “Now!”

Your guts jump, and the asphalt starts to shiver.
A housing project shimmies. Windows shatter.

Last edited by Aaron Poochigian; 09-02-2019 at 07:39 AM.
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  #2  
Unread 09-01-2019, 03:57 PM
Jim Moonan Jim Moonan is offline
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x

I have nothing in the way of nits with this. Would you consider it an insult if I said this has a dose of pulpiness to its style/voice? It also has the swagger of Chaucer's voice. Fine wine work.

I'm sorry that I haven't been more ambitious - I could be no less - in keeping these pieces you've been workshopping together in one place (I could go back, of course, and gather them up...)

...Because of that, I can't with any confidence put anything of this into strict context. So it just hangs out there vivid, lucid, ominous. The rhyme energizes/is spot on to my ear and the narrative is clear and compelling...So no, nothing in the way of help; only praise.

The final couplet is so sonically complete it makes my eyes blur.
x
x
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  #3  
Unread 09-01-2019, 10:31 PM
Mark Stone Mark Stone is offline
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Aaron, Hi. My guess is that "L-ling" in L3 is supposed to be "Li-ling." Mark
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  #4  
Unread 09-05-2019, 08:17 PM
Aaron Poochigian Aaron Poochigian is offline
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Thank you both very much, Jim for your enthusiasm and Mark for your correction (which I have made).

Thanks again!

Aaron
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