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Language Computeer
Fists of irony
Saint Nick takes the 49
white hair, and beard, both ending
in a smooth circle around his shoulders
lost look, blue veins under
the delicate hairless skin of his arms

gray pants, too short for his dirty socks,
he seeks an empty seat
in silent helplessness, he pleads
with the black-clad messenger bag man
[ ostentatiously aloof
his ears blocked with digital plastic
his eyes with sarcasm ]

In his faded pink shirt, he settles
next to the young man, twitching
like a deer in the rain, restlessly seeking
a quiet seat of his own. From the
red sack in his lap, he draws ratty papers

a yellowing prescriptionists free pad, bearing the name
of a drug prominently printed at the top of each.
The pages are covered with careful, ancient
script -- his own, with a ball-point pen --

a line of Norwegian -- Finnish? -- a language
with loops and whorls over its vowels, twitchy
diacritics like the flickering of his eyes --
each line followed by its hasty translation

"Friday let us go to the movies"
"This boat is too small"
"Just a dog is having its day"

I get off at the university, but he stays on,

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8 comments or Leave a comment
lunacow From: lunacow Date: October 3rd, 2006 11:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's very nice.
trochee From: trochee Date: October 3rd, 2006 11:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
thank you. this was "inspired by actual events", as they say, and I found the guy fascinating.

Then when I realized he had this handful of Finnish notes, I realized who he was, and why he looked so lost, and I had my title.
lunacow From: lunacow Date: October 4th, 2006 12:02 am (UTC) (Link)
The details felt very real, so I was guessing it was based on something you'd experienced. (Which is silly, really, that I'd leap to that assumption, but nonetheless, I did.)
beckyb From: beckyb Date: October 4th, 2006 01:14 am (UTC) (Link)
that was yummy.
boobirdsfly From: boobirdsfly Date: October 4th, 2006 02:18 am (UTC) (Link)
that is an awesome poem.
reminds me a bit of your grandpa's poems...

i used to write so much found text when i rode the bus.
johnny moses was inspired by a bus character.

you're such a good writer and i always forget until you surprise us with things like this !

i like you.
a lot.

isolt From: isolt Date: October 4th, 2006 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
I like the feeling of rhythm underlying much of this.
writeanya From: writeanya Date: October 5th, 2006 12:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
well, goodness.

keep this part of trochee comin' when you can!

really brought me to that moment. thank you!
chachachana From: chachachana Date: October 6th, 2006 11:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

you should totally submit this to http://www.thesunmagazine.org/
8 comments or Leave a comment