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A rowdy train lives
in front of our house.
My wife's complaint goes
on & off. Seeing what's
there in what seems
to be there.

I'm redwined out
& editing the cookies-

That's precisely because
it's a poem I shall
                     never finish writing.

Sweaty feet on wooden floor.
Apple & pepper on a table.

Past following our noses.
Don't waste your time
on interrupted trips.

To have a hand in deciding
what's good in a good day.

Like a dialogue.
Like a winning goal.
Initial exposure to each other's sky.

High heels & margaritas on bicycles.

Leaving guns & cars
in his wake.

If you like it, fine. If not,
get lost.

Shared attraction & hero
worship seven levels deep.

Two people fucking two
people killing someone two
guitars working their way into your blood.

Can't disregard them. As well
as the pacing of a doornail.

The dirt behind silence behind
darkness behind trends.

The violence of clarity. The two
folded & unfolded their legs.
A skyline's syncopated onion.

Perjurer, programmer.
A trade-off, a price tag.
Greedy hands of scrutiny.

If I notice something marvelous,
I internalize it.

Outlier's cut. Bits of twisted
Auto-Tuned radio.

To sit down on the ground
of your heart. To lose my
doubts about turquoise.

A jolting from leafstorm. Imprints
of dark faces, twisting sidewalks.

A woman lifting weights.
Trees, and the war in them.








To The Other Side

At the edge of spring
cucumbers are already fruiting.
The hills are crazy.
                    The hills are freaking out.

Witnessing the violence
of do-gooders.

An ungentrified stretch of this city.
Why the hell should I
                              demonize my opposition?

The error of
searching for my feelings
with scalpel & forceps.

                             Surfeit of solitude
                             the moon is dining out

Whatever returns from hypothesis
is what I will paint.

Iconography of angels & witches.

& the woodpeckers of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Let it explode
the message in this missile
the soul grammar.

Lady Palm in the palm dome.
To the other side, felling a forest full of trees.

The brick crashing through glass is a window
into the truth.









As we seize the hour
knowing nothing is neutral

to load a gun or to load a camera
galaxies taunt our bodies

they couldn't pin anything directly
on the american mobster or
the american lobster

joints were rolled doors were

neo-classical architecture madly
during the third dance

spring breaks loose
into goddamnation and bruises
the landscape

storing the night
               in a warehouse

way up there showing off
when cobblestones tear remorse
apart                            that canestalk

in search of justice there where
the fear of getting too close
                                           drags on

get off track
stop looking for the right fit

where we've been where we're going

something in this velocity
has remained intact

i wish the portrait knew better
identity is not fiction

let's continue popping bubbles
it's hard choosing between
revolution and copulation

like when those chutes of jeopardy
tried to explain to you
what first love means

emerging desires the crossing
between what we build
and what builds us

if you turn left if I turn right
the map this grove must endure
                               the illusion of directions






Uche Nduka

Uche Nduka—poet and essayist—is the author of twelve volumes of poems of which the latest are LIVING IN PUBLIC (2018) and FACING YOU (2020).


The Brooklyn Rail

OCT 2015

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