17 Passive Restraints


He told me and told me a normal boring story full of gizmos.

The sub-high roller hits the high beams-how that ragtop hugs the blacktop!

Please complete and mail this registration card. We mean it, citizen.

Like an accident, going to the movies slaps crisis with brand names.

Another nighthawk—here's some laughter—blows on her coffee. Lipstick. Pursed.

Seventeen passive restraints on the bitter trail of pleasure wipe tears.

You reach the circle of fifths: the sudden wall—faces shine from the past.

Their business machines narrow provisions, meeting us late at night.

Intimacies of the hand the ass the cock the cunt. Eyes to eye. "Stop."

Where then does the scant costume end, sirrah, and the little man begin?

Let's conquer realms of fresh capital, vast estates of designer briefs!

It's first rain at first light, and the tarmac a high-security zone.

Clouds pass over incisor. Peeling bumpersticker. Big ol' sunset.

"Lonely sax" cliché jump cut mirror makeup cigarette telephone.

DWF, 40, seeks solvent mensch for long walks, swift justice.

Our journey complete, we three pull into Full Serve and reload both clips.

Plagiarism is necessary. Progress implies it. J. N. Brook.

[first published in Exquisite Corpse, 1991]

James Brook | Mudlark No. 18
Contents | Weather and Repetition