My friend in California, he films
insurance fraud. We saw a spinal case
fluffing work for forty weeks buffing
that ‘69 Impala in nothing but his skivs.
I’d have cracked his head, but
I was sick. Sick of all this heeding to the future,
its heads-up cinema, civil vice.
I keep a hammer and a glass of water by the bed:
one for me, the other for the bed.
I learned the positioning of my heart
over the middle coil accounts
for the pinging in the middle of the night,
diastolic, systolic. Apathetic beat:
if I swat the outer cable, all goes back to night,
silent, unexplosive. I don’t and I fall into the bed,
that tire-ironed, open-flied canopy,
or goose-down panoply muffling the tick-hop
underneath. Is the whole world
heading towards exploding heads?
In cinema we are taught to love
the numbers burning in their petri dish,
how everything ends before it begins.
And like an upside-down ice-cream cone,
a good exploding head will get all over you.
Trust me, I don’t know. And you don’t
want to trust anyone who does.
Torrid affair of a gun and a head:
someone will get hurt.
And now, watching scrambling
Jackie O (de Givenchy
sewed her pearls onto her dress
so they wouldn’t hit the coffin),
Herr Death, David Byrne, lovers:
Thy film is hammer.
Thy head is detonate
in earth tones to long fade
on frontal entry. Feel the heft
of yon pulsing trigger finger,
apt action on yon DVD.
Beyond exploding heads, one thing
exists. In unison: One thing exists—
a cardinal marbling of the air
around the void, the terrible wear
of the over-exposed, two arms like flirting fish,
and that sense that you will never
catch your breath, or that head’s,
as it flies, hurried, from its captor.
Chad Davidson's poems have appeared or are forthcoming in DoubleTake, Notre Dame Review, The Paris Review, Pequod, Seneca Review, and others. His first collection of poems, Consolation Miracle, will be published in fall 2003 with Southern Illinois University Press.
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