American crawl: poems by Paul Allen

By Paul Allen

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Sample text

They are saving their babies from me. The Atlantic lets the daughter go. She joins the terns.  Why? Leave them alone. Leave them alone. Leave everything alone. The mother comes up from the sea. Her free hand Page 29 says, Who do you think you are? You're scaring her. We didn't come here for this. She shifts the towels and Mae West. The women go back to their original plan, walking the edge of the water.  A debriefing.  Their orders arrive. Like men in restaurants everywhere, they look at their food as if they can't remember what they ordered.

And we did, naming first the homely and alone, and then, in time we all suspected everyone in some way or another. He hadn't lived alone; she walked among us about this we felt better, and worse.  Or ever, even the first time. It doesn't matter, and I feel foolish for standing this long holding my mailbox by its warped jaw. My neighbor follows his daughter to their home.  I go in, not waiting to see whether he gets himself loose. For me it's late enough for a beer and a quiet romp through the mail.

2 Lamp Aboriginal delight. To have scratched a deal for the likes Page 37 of this sand painting motif, 60 watt burial urn. Someone changed earth to ugly lamp that claims 1/4 the mesa of my desk space. Several people, several well meaning people per day grow crook-backed and bad ankled rag picking the dump of my mouth.  No make-up Page 38 among these plain people, Christianized heathens living at the gates. They want us to believe their pidgin hearing. But what flat-head in the badlands was enough brave to send the lamp I write this by?

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