Two by
Michael Craig

Work Way Up the Ladder
Psychology was developed by the Germans in 1874.
Never again would the sun simply fill a courtyard,
or make shade in a corner where tools are stored.

I write these lines and instantly hate them.
Cousin Albert points his phonograph
out the attic window.

He has decided he likes himself again
and I'm happy for that.
But the courtyard is full of sunlight

and from somewhere cigar smoke
blows bluishly over the garden.
You know, Albert's music is beautiful.

The earth shifts a little on its axle.
And birds take turns
stuffing their eggs into a hole in our wall.

He wore a beautiful hat in massive mahogany
which he unscrewed and set on the bureau.
He loosened his tie and walked over
to the window; from there he could see
down into the courtyard where his dog was
tied, in the rain, to a tall hedge.
He kept his back to the room:
a silver probang lay on a black cushion;
a jar of tongue depressors; various calipers;
an old-looking telephone
with what looked to be white icing on the mouthpiece.

Montgomery tapped the ash off his cigar.
He cleared his throat and spoke: "No.
I said I saw a pile of hurdles
behind the meat plant." The nurse
held her clipboard defensively.
She nodded. She wrote: "Is
quite handsome. Is in need of a bath."

--- From Can You Relax My House
©2002 Michael Earl Craig
Fence Books
14 - 5th Avenue, #1A,
New York City 10011

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