Reading poems to warehouses
On the east side of the river, there are
rows of crumbling brick buildings,
an attentive audience, factories busy now
collecting cold air and bird droppings.
I implore these warehouses to assemble
their own flying contraptions out of feathers
preening pigeons have lost inside them,
beg seized-up machinery to remember
how desire once made it tick.
Dear wire fences, dear graffiti, dear broken
windows, dear holes-in-all-our-sides —
hollow is another name for open.
Not every place is suited for the beautiful
echo you produce.
One of the word combinations I discovered in Deb’s lines was “want warehouses.” Though I’d been making notes on a printed list of the word pairs all week, I hadn’t felt any momentum behind them. This morning, I played some with “want warehouses” and tried to make warehouses storage places for desire. I think there’s an echo of that in the poem, but the words got separated. It went from “want warehouses” to “I want these warehouses,” and in the end, I replaced “want” with “implore.” This isn’t one of those poems I’ll keep around for long; it’s one of those poems that — with any luck — greases the works.