Poems: Dawn Robinson

modern romance

we were raised in our society
which dresses in tinsel stars or christmas lights
which heaves its great thighs from curling surf
we were coached to spring fully formed from logical repetition, place ourselves at advantage

we drank a soda, walked with the red bows of our red mouths
catching bits of light from the arcade
we recognized each other when we died
no laughter in the bleakest time no babies named, no scarecrows to
protect the corn

we hurled small bolts of lightning. joined the crows
had more use for wires than for telephones
we were attracted to the light for no other reason than that it warmed us
we refused to be born: the earth’s population was not sustainable
we rejected unhealthy patterns we tried being different sexes

we impersonated vaudeville entertainers in order to be admitted into heaven
where vaudeville still exists
we lived as mimes
we constructed wind-chimes nobody could see or hear
which made sense because nobody sees or hears the wind, directly
we saw ourselves humorlessly or laughed while we leaped toward
each other from impossible distances
we joked that we were monsters tracking down our creator and some of us were

on the day i was born

let’s go North said the man to the woman
I’ll make you a sweater said the woman and a different woman said
she would rather make the sweater and the man didn’t wear shirts anyhow
so he left them both and headed for the border of Canada and Canada said:
you can’t come in because you’re on too much L.S.D. and you’re running from
your government and a small cloud of napalm travels over your head as if you
were in a circus

ships passed
museums put up pictures of rape made out of orange hair and breasts
museums were not taking any personal stance upon the lives of the artists
they represented
just cold enough to preserve art yet not so warm as to invite anybody to stay past 5

a photographer for the Encyclopædia Britannica took a photograph
of the original woman, she who had wanted to make the sweater

knives were thrown in kung fu movies Starsky and Hutch wore
uncomfortably tight pants for law-enforcement officers
Charlie’s Angels formed a three-headed Hydra gestated in flame
easy street let down its hair and became easier
Billie Holiday rolled up her cigarette and her small dog and sang the song
of a woman who wants to make a man a sweater when he won’t wear one
and all of it rode off barefoot on a motorcycle this is what became my

the birds who came to dinner

i had windows in my house when I was a young man, except that I did not have a house
all of my house was an open window
I married a wife who was really a wheat field wrapped slenderly in a cotton dress
anything she said made the crows hungry
I don’t remember individual words I was too young to listen to her after all

I worked for a baker in a stone kitchen in the financial quadrant of the city
he rose early and the crows called to him too

the crows called to the baker as they called to my wheat field wife but they never called to me
I had nothing to give them but the empty production of the emptiness their bones shared
all of us lighter, unmoored
nothing like our wives and our bakers
Dawn Robinson hopes to be a better person each day, in California to start with.

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