Kendra Steiner Editions

December 16, 2014

excerpts from THE LANGUAGE OF CONSTRUCTION (KSE #265, originally issued July 2013)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:33 pm

 

with KSE #265, THE LANGUAGE OF CONSTRUCTION being sold out, you can now get a free online version, with slightly different formatting….hope you find it interesting and worthwhile….it was written in and all the photographs are from New Braunfels, Texas, where it is also set….

THE LANGUAGE OF CONSTRUCTION

 

 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 

damning the morning

              breeze

                       but not

             adjusting the sails

                                                  they handed me

                                                      a French manifesto

                                                              opposed

                                      to the concept of manifestos

 

  sunburst

        reflected

             on rice paper

 

                                                        the toddler

                                              in the American flag shirt

                                 wandering from table to table    here

                                                    at the Treasury Bar

                                      probably won’t screw things up

                               as much as my generation did

language one

an hour

                      later in Jacksonville

               an hour

                      earlier in El Paso

         same

                  moment

             different markers

 

                                        those who write the guidebooks

                                  step around Bix & Tram

                                         & advise routes

                                     that no local would take

 

     as the vision deteriorates

                           the senses sharpen

 

                                                 just another

                                                      signholder

                                                    on an unshaded corner

 

language three

      sentenced

                                            in absentia

                                                to life w/o parole

                                           on Frankenstein Island

 

     mortar

         palm branches

                  & peach roses

                                                      gravity-free                          

                                  copper-flecked

                                                 flugelhorn tones,

                     reticent, in powdery cotton soundscapes

                                  gathering atop the bar’s

                              twenty-foot-high windows

 

    I tell the manager

        the water’s no longer hot enough

                                  to sanitize the dishes

                                                   he says

                                       not to worry       because

                                 I’m not paid to think,    just to do

language four

    Ana’s husband’s away

                                   for four days in Nuevo Leon

                              getting some teeth extracted

                                         in case I want    to stop

                                     by for coffee          after closing

 

    her daughter’s just discovered

               the plays of Harold Pinter

          but isn’t yet living

             the lives of his characters

                                                          each year Ana drinks

                                           more,                sleeps

                                  more,            worries

                           more,  and builds the sandbar

                                   higher, until one day

                                she will triumph over the tides

 

                                                      just another signholder

                                             between the cement plant

                                        & the Air Force base

language five

dust falls upon

                  the lightbulbs     faster

                       than it burns away

 

      a straw-haired lady, taking an occasional hit

                                                  from an oxygen tank,

                           dealer in antiques and part-time realtor,

                     overpraises the Italian crème cake

                              & exaggerates the heatwave

                                         she’s just experienced

                                                  in Las Vegas–

                             lingering,              but not    tipping

 

       an endless       graffiti-tagged

                 Union Pacific train

           passes by                hauling gravel to Waco

 

                                           they’re building an annex

                                  to the Comal County Courthouse

                                     as     business has been so good

                                                      the last few years

language six

     thirty years ago

                                    the scholarship committee   told Ana

                        her voice & the material clashed

 

                                                   the sparks

                                                              from that friction

                                                                 went unseen,

                                                                  u n h e a r d

                                                          & she began

                                                    waiting tables

 

                     I’m ready for that

                              Bangkok massage now–

                              do I need to pick up

                         some oil on the way over?

 

                                                   just another signholder

                                                         waiting for rain

                                 yet

                                   afraid

                                               of rain

language three

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