Marsh Hawk Review is an online poetry journal sponsored by the Marsh Hawk Press collective. Marsh Hawk Review will appear twice a year, under the revolving editorship of collective members. Each issue will offer a selection of poems solicited by the editor, in addition to new work posted by poets in the collective.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

DENNIS SCHMITZ


NEW YORK


is the muggers who won’t unionize

& so work, 4 AM, the Park’s Great Lawn


in rain’s insistent April spritz.

New York is Manganaro’s improbable


but right balsamic fighting the eggplant

for the glory of both—transaction


& quid pro quo & every illusion a forfeit—

it’s the way you are passed from glance


to glance the crosstown blocks to Zabar’s.

It’s New York—how can you die alone


after so much handling? But in the subway,

the Times Sq shuttle I always took to the movies,


I had to hug my self to myself because the you

had so many mutations, all of us rocking, body


to body, my short ride to a two-feature heaven.

In one seedy theater, I saw an off-screen knife-fight—


maybe about a Coke—two guys at it, cut for cut.

But the audience—daylong dwellers, teens & drunks—


New Yorkers, urbane, eyes always on the movie

choosing Art—just shifted a few seats away.





ARTISTIC INTEGRITY


Mailer thanked me when I returned THE NAKED

AND THE DEAD a hundred pages shorter—for years


integrity meant postponing some else’s fame.

It meant at writers’ retreats that I’d steal back


the Promethean words wrongly used—

often I took discs of whole novels,


but usually word by word I reclaimed integrity

for someone else, if only erasing a few poem-lines


from a shared computer. Use Van gogh’s ear

as a love-token (he did), not in a quarrel


about integrity. I’m not Hitler’s Eichmann, confessing

somebody else did it—I stole TYPHOON’S MISTRESS


from your agent’s mail-drop; I made it confetti.

Why did you let the rebels ravage Evita, & overplaying


the metaphor, make the typhoon re-define the slave

quarters as it wiped away the island’s beauty?


Roderick’s revenge too was sexually suggestive & part

of the poor taste that I’ve enjoyed erasing.



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