You are a disordered coat in search of a suitable body: your cuffs frayed, your socks chewed at the heel by shoes that leak like old boats stressed at the seams from too many nights rowed hard against the tide, your whole ensemble as much a lie as the memories of dogs you once owned that neither listened nor heeled.

Cars hiss by you on rainy streets, headlights glaze the pavement, illuminate the revelations that wait for you at each corner.

But you hurry to meet the fragments of found art which sit over yet another cup gone cold at the only coffee shop still open: the neon, spilled for twelve hours on the laminated counter top, sinks into the paled skin of meaningšs vague faces which stare unblinkingly at you, silent as tombs, your name lying dumb on their tongues.



The prose poem allows me into that mongrel pack which runs between poetry and prose. Each of the three "stanzagraphs" in this prose poem reflects a different impetus. In the first, I recall consciously trying to distill an idea, found someplace between the E channel's Fashion fixation and William Shakespeare (can such a place exist?), that clothing is a metaphor for personality. In the second, the images of the cars hissing, and of their headlights which "glaze the pavement" were appropriated from a poem by Danna Gilbert; we were, for a time, writing poems in response to an image or line from one another's poems. The third stanzagraph, which brings the previous two together, reflects my reading of Charles Simic, his ability to make the real feel surreal, a tendency I also see in Edward Hopper's paintings.