Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sherman Alexie Remixes


The night my father recanted

years of life and used the pieces

to build breakfast, my mother tore my

eyes and mouth from my head at 3 a.m.

Wide with fire, she told me

we were leaving

and would never gather ash.

We drove to a reservation under the gates

of our sins, and she tumbled down

her life with my father,

the man who took

our furniture from its grave

and sent it to Colville.

To take penance in the

un-burial, she told me

he sacrificed our whiskey. She planned

everything for my father. And in his

hands, breakfast and all,

the house we had chosen for a foundation.

[remix of Sherman Alexie’s “House Fires” which appears in his book The Business of Fancydancing]

Poor Mirrors

You drink these mornings alone and nothing

can be woken; you forgive the last

light bill, swallow bees from the can

beside the bed; warm strangers sleeping

on the floor go home too easy.

To be no one on moist pavement, only

lightly worried about familial tastes

more concerned with how to open the fridge.

You walk alone with nothing to do, wandering

within a country that revolves around rooms

without color or milk. Tasting the mirror

you found in the rancid rain, the walls seem closer

and you open the fridge again the right way

and you can never find the fridge again

for a beer, you find only the trash and drink it.

These holes are too familiar.

[remix of Sherman Alexie’s “Poverty of Mirrors” which appears in his book I Would Steal Horses]


Down past the television in the shack

where the tracks keep the tin walls

breathing, God dreams of 1976

and the tattered couch left in the snow,

bouncing off the fourth quarter, falling

back to the corner where my father throws

glass across the room like a train

between field goals, shattering past

the upright. My father’s roar, suspended

by sound, stands eagle-armed

and carries him over its shoulders like a

platform, as he whistles for God and 1976

to pick him up, to leave this lover behind.

[remix of Sherman Alexie’s “Sudden Death” which appears in his book The Business of Fancydancing]