Shostakovich Blaring

Christmas, 2000 / No. 4

Icy oval oceans cover his blue eyes

Neon tetras jump through the space between his teeth

Whales yelp, chocolates flip, the cresting waves

Throw gossamer sand between his toes

Ice melts in the mouth of a pelican

Shostakovich blaring in the shell by the lifeguard tower

He eats every note

Bette Midler rides a surfboard from Central Park West

His eyes are ice blue oval oceans

He’s reading a public library book two months overdue

Sleeping on the wing on a Sunday summer morning

A dolphin’s jive talking on a steamer rug

When the swollen sun hits high noon babies laugh in the jumbo waves

The desiccated sand of superficiality kicks up

Afternoon falls tightly as the sun hoards its ripe heat

He takes off his clothes, folds them


Into his knapsack

And walks into a Frank O’Hara poem

It has been said that the whole world is static

Movement a dream we interpret

Honeypie can’t understand the logic of it

She’s swimming; waving; dripping

In her banana yellow bikini on his blanket

He will return from the Bowery with a pack of Gauloises

Night will be falling like water off a surfboard

Bette Midler gone, inherent sleeping wing

He’ll be chanting littera scripta manet in banana yellow

To the dolphins’ jive, Hey man, cool

She will dive into his icy blue ocean and be gone

Beth Follett lives in the Annex and is the publisher of Pedlar Press. Her first novel, Tell It Slant, was published in 2001 by Coach House. Last updated Halloween, 2008.