Bad Modernism: Interstices

by Michael Davidson

Michael Davidson

We’re between rationalism and whatever is left out,
stuff caught in the drain, sex in the park
where it threatens to rain, the war
drains the state of excess
and leaves a hard residue of cash on the sill,
we spend it in spectacular restaurants
with nothing not green, nothing but grass,
the new owner greets us with something amber
and amuses on a plate, there’s Kant
in the corner, wave to him honey,
it makes the trip from the Valley
seem a minute in a mall;
there was the Dual Monarchy
but that didn’t last, then came the partition
and the annexations, new colonies
that became the old estates
and they brought out new epaulettes
and paraded them in the renamed square,
it’s hard to catch up once you’ve begun
the long division, I remember now
we’re between civilization and discontent
there’s one of them now, turning his fork
through a reasonable salad; 
if it weren’t for the password
no one would enter paradise, there are so many
passwords I forget how to bludgeon myself
into a primitive hut in the name of something
once flame-like, insistent, piercing
the heart, passing a window in a moving train
we see ourselves as our fathers
no wonder we reach for the red handle
and send cars screeching into the ravine,
anything to avoid this inexorable motion
and the docent who appears
to explain it.

Bleed Through

Last updated December 24, 2022