Two Poems
Derek Henderson



The cigarette's fluorescent dust --
light come concrete.


The reply to a request for warmer weather
answered in the rise of water
in backed-up gutters.

7 p.m.

The house swollen with incense,
tendrils of smoke jackknife through fans.
I pull the covers across me.
This is how I wait for the night
to come blowing in blue, filled
with ladybug's first buzz.

Outside, you have dull leaves,
black and sweet-smelling,
while I have jazz
falling across a dying-down sky
and a forgotten bedroom, where promises
came out, were sloshed around.
Next, I have debris, and a wish
for the loosening of morning.

parking lot.

Lamps casting something
in a parking lot,
in our house, something cold
around a corner.

green light.

A hit in the center
to make things warmer, if not necessarily quieter.
Belted by a pillar of light,
by a smudged reflection in bathroom tiles,
by the fog of a cigarette.


And the night was rather fluid
in retrospect: only the aqua-colored trickles of incense
until the four-color warmth of dawn;
the weather working on certain concrete
structures; the fans turning steadily
into the day.

"Look out / where yr going"

True story sight unseen a tail askew
I tell
you true
& string along
a tale of such frayed nerves
& here I mists over
in full view of sky blue sky
I train my eye there
see life pauses as it passes
before the eye

Light at the end of the tunnel
vision of what I am losing
sight of now is comparison
now all I see is true
after all over all I see you
stuck out a background
welling up in front of me
well while I'm not what
you are what you see is a blind
man in whom I'm immanent --
I see a sign a mind's eye rolling back
up to the head -- no nothing's foggy now
but the air that stops my eye from entry
here is this a better view
broken beer bottle
goggling at the bartender says
what'll you have let's see what
do you have I'll have here's
looking at you kid you can't kid me
since you can't get me
back I can't get back in there
to get the eye back where
booze can clean a bloody lid
lapsed socket is a better word

The word is the world is the eye
oh I sigh catch sight of
ich and ick and ocular
aqueous humor ha ha here
eye see the eye itself
hold the eye up to myself.

I spy a sky blue eye
blur, brr, blur, brr.
Air on the eyeball
a little dry a little cold.