Disruptive Juxtaposition

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Happy Birthday, J.!

First things first: today is the 25th birthday of one J. Kracker, a stalwart & truly stand-up guy, which I don't say because he's one of this blog's few patrons but because it is the case. I've remained in town an extra two days so that this event might be properly celebrated & entered into the annals of proper celebration.

I post the following poem in his honor, for in his comic book and filmic expertise J. has often been the impetus and has always been the encouragment I've needed to meld strange subjects - in this case, Indiana Jones, the Hulk, and a Dylan Thomas-ish "Do Not Go Gentle Etc." rage at age - together. Thanks, J., & Happy Birthday.


A night sediment of motes and dead skin collects in my throat
and coats that hangy-down-in-the-back thing with so gradual and noiseless an action
it almost seems to have not happened — meanwhile the parade of dead aunts
move through the bright playgrounds of dream, sober & single-minded,
and the first-graders leave off the gyroscope ride so it spins
to a stop on its own — a terribly gentle production of the subconscious,

I give it three stars, for in it I recognize an urge to make no waves,

the way in the morning I next open cupboards as though
they’re counterweighted with anvils, so, slowly,
lift a coffee cup from a stack of them, making the act labor,
set it on the counter with an Indiana Jones-ish quiet flair—
as he rubbed his five o’clock shadow and appraised the prize,
the hewn-gold Monkey Idol, you knew if Indy slowed up
it was no light fact or bauble he wanted for his pouch, or posterity.

And this way of moving about the world is an honorable one.
Not as innately artful as the night drift of the room dust but way more graceful

than the twelve-year-old punks on the overpass who as I drive to work
rear back with lugies in their gullets, gargle, then launch them out,
really getting their backs into it, onto my windshield — saliva bombs,
artillery shells of splooge — they triumph with each hit, and to be honest,

from the isolated bubble of the car I want to one-up their Gallagher vandalism,
no matter that it’s nothing the wipers can’t handle, what matters is the impact,
and change into the Hulk, that green id, brute urge made flesh,
peel open the car roof, leap up to their level, a leap down in maturity and grace,
and they too in their youth and vague anger also will develop mutant powers,
bent like mine to rail against the ease with which the body pales and flakes away, with what gentleness we go along with it, and behind the word bubbles
packed with electrified POWs and WHAMs
we spar above the ratrace traffic, knocked into star-shot sense.