Friday, January 30, 2009

Bad Modernism

Michael Davidson (2004)

Suddenly all is / loathing
—John Ashbery

and there's plenty to be unhappy about
if I can just get the reception area festooned
in time for their arrival, paper cups
and those little plastic whatsits so that,
gorged on meaning,
they troop through the glass doors
seeking interpretation, first floor
mildly historical, second floor
desire matrix, parents accompany
their indiscretions straight
to the penthouse, and someone
hands them a phone, "turtles"
they're call led, heads bobbing
as though they had a choice
to be party favors, deep structure
on your left follow the clicking
to a white cube, we only work
part time, the other part
we illustrate profound malaise,
I like these creme-filled versions
so unlike what we get at home,
having said which
we re-wind the tape,
slip it through a slot marked "aha"
and take the E home,
the smell you smell afar
is something boiling over.

1 comment:

dan said...

from The Best American Poetry (2004)