Two Poems by Calvin Bedient

BOMB 121 Fall 2012
BOMB 121

Whose Day?

My morrow died in (my (shotgun; my tongue when it
(mock-gingerly like a (hen secretly resigned
to the shit it’s in. Hola, whose day is this,

its new-washed khakis smothered in mother-dust?
Swing your machetes, angels, against our weedy
parts (show a little love. Here! keep back from the

inner organs, they’re not lunchbox oranges
or a young girl’s tits budding on the day, they
(and their worms (are hiding …

                                           Word is out!
Day has lost her Ovidian ovaries.
Quick, in what stone-carrying carts (on what
rocky roads (under what splatter-gas galaxies

(will you find them? Already they’re on their
way, pickups loaded with solvents, prods, voice-
tackles, grafters hidden from those whose days

are different from ours, days (so they say (never
punk’d, whose hi has somebody in it, whose arm
(pits are washed by the jet stream, whose zeros

are frauds, whose love’s not a (blonde whose child
is called utterly (impossible, whose screws
are not the ejecta of a mad machine.

Right here, under heavenly showpieces of dust,
the Black Eye, the Red Spider, the Bubble,
the Exclamation Mark, the Lost (whose days

are a gas hustle display (mocked at by dark
matter’s (smoked glasses, you will find our day,
or call it whose day (“whose” as in “whose,”

there is no deception here, “day” as in—
but what I began to explain (and only
to you, my friends, (has to do with … might be termed

(the unexperienced: “un” as in alt-,
haloed in oddity, mystagogy
contrary to the Cartwheel, the Atom for Peace,

all that great trashy scatter overhead.
The soul in its recombinant function
is what I mean, I mean working the room

of the dark, despite melancholy with its
(plate of doubt and (side of grief, whose days
are (slow Asias of time, their seconds jacked—days

whose table is quitted sooner than is polite
by the hombres of perfume and the fillies
of cigars (peppy folk whose day must have been

a hoot, for how they laughed and laughed (they conversed
like mules that stomp death into the ground.
I could almost wish them back again, swelling

the room like day amid the minutes (but
it was careless of them to caress once
or twice (the chef of my contagions, whose

meringue is the melancholy of my hands.


Turning Aside From the Vulgar to Think

I wore the piano’s baggy-assed pants
in a musical lurch of buenos
when others smiled, though
everything smelled ponk like Peru.

In reality I was
W E T  C H A L K,
several, probably, WET
CHALKS swimming together,
our elbows carat-accents
in the glutspeak of the Hudson.

Having stubbed God out with thinking
I tried to burn down in my own springy flame,
as Zarathustra preached to the groundlings.

Then I tortured out an analogy
such as never before had maddened the earth,
“lovelier, obscurer, extremer than anything.”

Next I became a Conceptualist.

Good humored though we was
we was evicted summarily from the down
town Manhattan Holiday Inn
for our installation of jabbering plaster

            (stood for what it mean what it mean
            to coldcock
            the Renaissance studio idea)

            (pack it up you self-important gods
            was our motif).

West, then, to the Peacock Bar
in Spokane’s Davenport Hotel,
having elected to be
elegantly historical.

But when a peacock hopped up and lazy
Susaned on our table,
we laughed to have such venereal plumes
sweeping our faces, tickled
at not being able to see
in the very behind of beauty.

Calvin Bedient’s fourth book of poems, The Multiple, is appearing from Omnidawn this fall. His previous books of poetry are Candy Necklace, The Violence of the Dawn, and Days of Unwilling. He was a co-editor of the New California Poetry series and coedits Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion.

Originally published in

BOMB 121, Fall 2012

Featuring interviews with Miguel Gutierrez and Ishmael Houston-Jones, Haim Steinbach, Carolyn Cantor and Amy Herzog, Ben Chasny and Sir Richard Bishop, Kurt Andersen and Susanna Moore, Edith Grossman and Jaime Manrique, Lucy Raven, and Josiah McElheny.

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BOMB 121