James D'Agostino


Today began a dreamsicle
made of dirt and up to us
to pilot this sky's specific
dye lot. And why not?

Our lives are six or seven
people a lot, a couple dozen
less so, and an even call it
hundred lesser still. Today

it's the cinnamon blush
of rust on a dumpster.
It's the city's talc of salt
and still ice bites onto the lot

in a couple spots. Took the skull
for a crawl is all and tried not to
fall through a city ultimately
solvable, mere matter

of form. The locksmith's truck
fits surely into traffic. I've
climbed through four windows
twelve times, emerged smudged

or scraped, but home, where
the thing about charm's it
doesn't give a fuck what
comes after adoration, only

more and more.




I'm still misspelling March,
but at least it's not harm.
At least it's charm. I am

hoping for ham soon. I am.
At this point the only reason
I can conceive of even going

to the gym is I kind of someday
want to do coke. Back home
I've got parts of one or two

poems if I'm lucky and parts
of lots if not. First fly of the year
slow to my swat, but so what it

had only half my heart. If that
is the first switch of Summer
flipped, fine, but if it can't

last the night, if this is just
the crumbs of hundreds down
here in the noun-scrounge

I want out. I can't man
the cram cam. I can't.
There's already something

you told me to remember
I forgot, but that's what
made it, you say, so.




I've often tried to figure out why,
without looking it up
because that would be too easy,
the world is not a book.
Rain in sheets, itself
an ink, all squall
until instantly it stills,
steams in the street
once the sun
picks back up where it
last left off. Just north
of Bachelor, exit 155
leads east to the Missouri Girls Town
and west toward Nostalgiaville.
So again life's laid right out
with a highway down its spine,
making this 2-way stop its middle
age, and Nostalgia, an algae
occluding ponds some are fond of
finding time to skate on and later
remember about 85% of,
so more and more clouds
are pressed into absent mountain
service, and that
stands in for this,
the way cotton blown
across the road makes due
with Michigan winters
merely remembered.




More poems than I’d like to admit start with some typo, word slur, botch, malaprop. Which I’m fine with. The mistakes always seem smarter than anything I was going to say anyway. The title, “Iron-Clad Lullaby,” was born in just such a mumble. “Mar” started that way, too, “misspelling March,” etc., then went on lofting all the words I could think of instead of the one I really wanted. Charm & Harm. Two big threads in the weave my work lately. This typo helped me sneak up on that again in another poem. Helped me see a sequence linking up.