14 July 2015

The Night City

The Night City

The Night City girds,
It blooms, itself.
The Night City knows.
You don't know.

You wander
The Night City.
The Night City worries about you.
You don't worry.

The Night City expands
In unconsciousness.
The Night City is tall.
You are not tall.

Are you you or
The Night City?
The Night City doesn't care.
You don't care.

The Night City's
Leaden circles beat
Against your skin and mind.
The Night City has no mind.

The Night City blooms,
It leans, it watches, it knows.
The Night City burns.
You burn.

L. Steve Schmersal, The Night City, July 2015

04 July 2015

The Shelmstress Poems III: Suicide Ditty

Classic Shelmstress! This one is very hard to find, but I was lucky enough that an old friend was looking out for it as well. I first read it in grad school at OSU and have been trying to find it again ever since--its Rodgers and Hart echoes, which occur throughout Shelmstress' work, keep nagging at me till I find them again.

Thank you, Armando, for sending this on.

Suicide Ditty

Hi. It's me again,
Hi, it's not me. Hell-
O, or hi. Hey. Ho.
Nobody writes his
Song for me, heigh-ho:

Who cares? Thirty-odd
Years demonstrating
Explanations and
Exhortations, some

Trying, showing, and
Trying to show what
Ever: things: any
Thing; in this place where
I don't think or know

Or want anything
For myself, in this
Place of my great un-
Knowingness, where I
Drop, with a ripple--

Or not--across your
Great knowledge, where you
Know everything, where
My me-ness is as
A nothingness, where

I sink beneath your
Wisdom like a stone.
You locked me in some
Safety deposit
Box, in the basement

Of a bank, on a
Shelf in your closet,

In some universe,
Where I don't exist.

Calvé Shelmstress, Suicide Ditty, 1977