Jamez Chang and Isaac Kirkman
Could this Really be Happening?by Jamez Chang & Isaac Kirkman
Makes a crowd at Madison see things different,
turns a dunk into jewels,
Chopping arcs on seven-footers and
Could this really be happening?
Cross-over to high-lights
and yes, it's for real
'cause even with their own eyes
He hitches forward on a lacquer swirl,
rides a screen to his right,
his center sent fishing,
and the play that lifts us all:
for what seems like two days,
from behind the arc
his defender in cold course,
saran-wrapped in mid-air;
dazed of ghost-rhythm
because a gale force
of stretched turbine and muscle
fathoms a leap.
Flinging his wrists and the ball to follow
straight toward the rim;
and it's there where Jeremy stays
hanging 2½ seconds
Slam dunk heard for
"Go Back Where You Came!"by Jamez Chang & Isaac Kirkman
A perfect cairn upon a gilded path
for 31 days,
their own grandmother from TUSCON
could love who he was,
and know him only by name:
But etched into flames by the tongue,
"For the money," let go
and 17 left in a Rocket.
NYC once proclaimed Palo Alto
its adopted home
rows and rows of front-porch numbers
glisten off spectators' back,
in changed address:
counted 17 0's
in part-time pieces of
now seated and cheering
We heard the red-jersey chorus
fester a grimace on
"foreign man's" face called
for the one who
"kinda looked Yao,"
as in T-Madison Square.
And for boys born inside
like us of black hair,
it hurt to hear a crowd-set-over
in numinous time,
when rhyming with words
But one phrase set better in bygone stages,
of playgrounds, uneven,
slid us back in our chairs
funny last names,
made our concrete-swagger
pull Wei-Wei back
in the Things We Heard:
"Hey! # 7…17,
Go back where you came!"
Alva's WingsBy Isaac Kirkman
In that casket layered with Chinese dust,
I light candles for my brother,
summon in the haunt like church bells
to an atheist. The part of me that cared
for kisses and drink left me long ago
the way their breath left them—
Mexican martyrs, women refused
to be bribed, or flee.
Final moments don't smile for pictures
truant. At dead hours, find comfort
in the gladiators drum, fresh tattoos' map,
a shovel of dirt. My shoulder blades
ache for his wings.
Bobbing for TaffyBy Jamez Chang
Employee of the Month
at the Poets Studio,
I serve you plankton burgers and catfish
taffy, but before swallowing notes,
a worm-ice touches your tongue, stretching to leave this
dining to others, a glass pinch
to plastic tongs, I snap, "stay!"
I speed through ears to dig potholes
in wax, finding three grey worms with roach clips
that I place in glass jars like maracas,
that I shake hard, for Cynthia, for you,
confusing choo-choo sounds for ear wax.
A worm dances out of its skin
I keep shaking, since you like the food better
when I'm bobbing for taffy,
and the song sizzles in glass jars,
and the worms shed their skin faster.
Three violet wings screamed off their bodies,
because he shook too hard, a silly
waiter showing off his butterfly stains
on blank steps, signing thank-you cards in the dark,
drowning in sea salt, hot air, and water.
Button Crossby Jamez Chang
Photo: Jamez Chang
WHEN YOU WATCH FOR TIME TO FINISH CROSSING,
THE LIGHT TURNING VEHICLES START TO PUSH ON.
A BUTTON-CROSS BEGINS. IF YOU HAVE NO OUTLET
FLASHING HERE, NO BUTTON WILL CURB THE CROSS CORNER.
DO NOT WAIT WHEN THE LIGHT COMES PARKING IN YOU:
PUSH 1 2 b 3.