POEMS FROM MORBIDITY & ORNAMENT
ON FIRST LOOKING INTO ALLEN IVERSON
I used to drive by the junkyards and the gold
River in my superturbo Answering Machine,
And turn the heat way up, coz it was cold,
Watching the factory smoke rise still and clean,
And I never had no doubt I’d get old,
One in a million, superstar, and cruising
Past the Projects, remembered I’d been told
I’d end up dribbling circles round them, and losing
Anyway. But I got the bling. I looked in my mirror
And I will never forget -- saw this skinny wigger
Wearing my line of kicks, yo, I got out
Signed his kicks and told him, memories, bury them
Anywhere you can. Your rearview getting clearer.
Coz time runs out. Coz there ain’t no doubt.
Coz his name was Darien.
note: Former NBA player Allen Iverson was also known as The Answer
AN INTRODUCTION TO CHAUCER
We hadde but tramped in the driven snow and pooled
Liberally from our boots whilom Professor Grant appeared
First to us, desiccated minstrel, a walking Jack O’Lantern
On the dole, for his head was lollopingly large
And his bones could have done with a brisk dousing.
He opened his mouth and a rich and tweety reel beganne:
Flemish birds remembering the dawn. We fidgeted,
We shivered, not long off the farm, rudimentary fools.
He told us we were randy fowl about to spawn anew.
The maidens were disgusted, the feeble senile perv.
In the Tabard, nigh the martyr’s tomb, he rilled along.
Then one day, he fell ill, and an associate marched in
With a reel-to-reel, his tie snagged in the spool
Of Grant’s voice giving lectures from intensive care,
From a tiltabed. He did detail the jolly compagnie
Of his infection inadvertently; the castle-rampart trim
On jerkins worn by miller spirochetes and sickle-headed
Pardoners and prioresses, obnoxious in their reach for mead,
Their single-minded gluttony upon an Ox-au-jus,
Ywending aye the sanguine ways of Grant’s anatomy.
We satte in our parkas and imagined all the japes
We’d yet endeavour, the lies ahead, the gradual past
Crescive as an Ottoman moon, a symphonic entropy
Filled us as we filled our scribblers, the winter sun
Yronning down, the tinkle of Grant’s voice more tranquil,
Until he stood corporeal afore us, not looking much better.
Though we were wont to quicklie tell him the reverse.
The pallor of a candle, the moistness of a broom,
He gacked his throat two blasts, and he beganne
“…all were this Lande fulfilled with Fairye…”
The sly mink clepeth Alysoun, her eyen merrye
In the back row, though she maketh not a moue,
Yet smirketh at all to her full knowe: Professor Grant
Would topple someday, crumple like wasp-paper
into smelly motes. Fain would fair Alysoun take notes.