Jack Boettcher


Humans and Their Environments

School’s out. It is time for that feeling of wander
and wandering through the unnamable city of no
responsibilities, wobbling like a mote, like

an immortal mote with no hands, no manifest
destiny, but a clean, weightless body
with no hands, as rain descends, no hands but a heart

that sags with wet light upon the vision of people kicking
pigeons in the city of no responsibilities, kicking
pigeons with no hands, but grief, but wings, and wiping

the newsprint from under their eyes and spitting
the newsprint from under their tongues, smudged
gobs of spit dislodged amid rain and feet in light-

weight shoes, hands trust pockets, kicking pigeons
in rhythm, for a moment let us talk about love.
Love between the world and a mote, between the city

and that feeling of wander. If the people are free in the city
of no responsibilities, then why do they kick so many
pigeons, and spit newsprint-phlegm? Then they are not free?

With rain the vapor of paint and beer is washed through
ruts and fissures and into storm drains, the streets
weight my heart with wet light. White paint. Runny

I wander. Like a mote thumped by a big toe I ride the currents -
school’s out, rain remits, so please all let us waltz
around the city of no responsibilities as though

this city is a wondrous surprise! This is a rural, nomadic land,
there is no practical purpose for this grand metropolis of patterns
upon patterns, yet here it is, in the center of things, like built

arisen for the people to wander. And drink beer. And fidget.
To wobble. To sigh and not kick pigeons, to nervously

tie unnecessary knots in their shoelaces instead.


Humans and Their Environments

When I am not alone I am socializing. I am frequently alone. When I have stagnated alone for a long time with my sensations and then I am marrying, or washing the dog in late summer, that’s my healthy glowing brow, my comeback stun-gun. Making a child is socializing in so many ways, it’s almost a metaphor for the good life (if metaphor weren’t so unclean). Deliver your thoughts on life to the postman if you frequently stay indoors. Then there are friends, they can make a lot of noise. The police force in this town usually disapproves of frank clatter, but it also disproves any overtly solipsistic theories one might devise to rust the sticky coiled bridges that span all true hearts and commingle blood and wonder down on Main Street USA. So a relationship begins with them. A candle in a soupcan rattles from a clothesline at the edge of a field nicked by wind. This notes nothing more than a friend among the night, and a friend says “come in,” past which night stutters on over other darker fields, river-sealed, and as far as the city limits, through interior partitions of a house glow grid. This notes nothing more than the birth of an undercover child. A spark from a shout begins the backyard song of friends. Note this. Friends use the moon to explain things to each other, the moon passes always through a handclap.

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