A poem by Eric Schneider

found typewritten, undated, ca. 1978

habituated wretch
a snout at the trough
i park underground
deadbolt the doors
do my laundry in the sink
eat soup unheated from the can
(yes yes
another unsung passion
behind deadbolt doors
yes yes)
now that summers finally come
i’ll have to black out the kitchen windows
as well

my father sells cadillacs
havent seen him in years
sent me 500 when we sued for back support
blew it on booze and a half & half
couldn’t keep it up
my aunt is a right to lifer
goes to every cracker revival in the state
2 glasses of cheap today she strokes my thigh
varicose as a slice of rhubarb pie
uncle plays patriarch between hebetude and hebetude
makes american gothic look like an hundred years of
sodom

for many years
i slept in my mothers room
the quietest room in the house…

...but now i dream of her as scylla
when i dream of her at all

(cortex of image of
dream)
my rancored heats my asymptote desires
distempered in this isaic noon
i hear the midnight choir

scattered i lie scattered
from the cornfields of antietam
to the mississippi mothervine
from the ochred graveposts of wounded knee
to the ditches of my lai

odes
from a snailhouse

meant to crush

thresh silence thresh

my seed is dead
(chutes unopened)

before it hits the ground

but

o

the declensions
of the rising generation
on the levee talus under a meathook moon
in counterfeit apostate poses
empties
pitched in the nitrous ditch
riddled
by squirrelhunters
in the sears catalogueclad dawn
migrant quarter middens muerto ne ring
reel reel
all unreal
parricide lost
in the sound and fury
of gyring locomotive lights
(father
most silent)
more distant than the election icons
on the weathered fence
you
came to me
as through the silent tapestry of dawn
but i fled your house
your face had decayed in sad mosaic
seek me
where blue lasers perch
garrulous on tomatocrate plinths
in ramshackle bait and tackle shacks
preacher the spillway
or cast from ruined buicks
sipping 10High from a passed paper sack
squirting sleek jets of brown tobacco gleet

no sky
but cottonmouth

water
and
wind
and
grass

like horsemanes blowing

if the river moan
if the sky breed storm

when dead men wake
and all the levees

break

indelible house


About this entry