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Nov 6, 2012

Howandizindizindize - Neil Kozlowicz

Howandizindizindize No. 1

You’ve looked here. You’re hooked there. As it goes
longshoremen and the radio plays incessantly a tune
like an alligator, the skin a rhino and a pair of
tube socks. It’s a better year, seemingly full
of anecdotes, that is, stories told amongst friends
and--. You’ve looked here. You’re hooked, constantly
repeating small movements, a hair from a dromedary
clings to your vest. It is all you have to remember
the hours in the sun. You’ve never been to Sudan,
taken a day to polish the collection of redwood
planks, the loose fitting hammer heads and bruises.
It’s easy to hum a song, sink into the bottom of
the pool, float off in the wind, a rip-tide
a talent for falling apart before you’ve put
anything together. Bleed, too, you’re hooked, looking
back, treason to the birth, a born winner and
looking down, good for something, maybe to rub sides
with the automatic weapons or prove yourself by
tragic consequence, by playing marbles, muttering to no
one, left beside the road forever in a trough
a furrow, one among many as waves in black
and white a discovered rhythm Howandizindizindize
Howindizindizindize plastered across the living room
ear to ear and slowly gone left to circle
peace by momentary blur piece by born to whatever we are.

Howandizindizindize No. 2

For a television series they call it jumping
the shark. That moment when Happy Days
violated its conceit and, Howandizindizindize,
cool exceeded its bounds. The party is breaking
up and I need to sleep. Howandizindizindize
there is no hope for you, blanket neck and a
tired lasso, we’ve expected this for some time
all of us on the cement stairs, better than you
for knowing our place as you flail your ideas
around looking for a chance at impartiality
running home as fast as you can it’s a wonder
you didn’t get kicked aside or trampled. But
you watched as the fight started in the bathroom
moved outside and into the street it went on
forever and you watched quietly cheering for
someone who hardly knew you you watched
planning to be noticed, near the alley now
two thousand miles from where you were meant
to grow up every ounce of you lies on that
street every escape, all the streetlights
garage bands and despair disguised as
dignity holds on like music in minor keys
playing endlessly, respectfully negligent of
time and distance, maybe turn the station
maybe listen closer, maybe say
it’s alright, you did the best you could.

Howandizindizindize No. 3

Multiply by three the actual number of sounds
you cannot hear. Rake flames, coals, and fire into
the breeze near the ocean and think you’ll
be there forever, gone now, drying in the desert
for a time. Howandizindizindize. You’ll come to
realize, standing beside yourself, touching the ground
red clay and stone. It rings a certain
falseness, a tone familiar. Howandizindizindize, a
method of lying maybe, stories you tell if you
could tell a story. One asks for specifics
for a reason for the Howandizindizindize
for blast furnace, the loop track, darkness
and the highways around D.C. circling for hours
getting no closer, there right now in a Ford
pickup, riding in the back under the canopy
across the country to protest, to carry a
banner, scream Howandizindizindize, stand
up for anything other than yourself.
The rain came heavy with the thunder and
the lightning, a blue pallor, the dust and
high wind bending palms while the cactus
did not flinch. Monsoon season, waiting for
the wash to run, looking along the street
into the hills and hoping for inspiration, anything
that says now, Howandizindizindize, or never.

Neil wields an MFA in creative writing from the University of Minnesota. You may have seen his poems in Nimrod International Journal of Poetry and ProseSierra Nevada College ReviewNorthwest ReviewIodine Poetry JournalOregon EastEpicenterDiner, or Concrete Wolf or his book reviews in Rain Taxi Review of Books. He lives with his amazing wife and two beautiful daughters in the land of 10,000 lakes.

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