Thursday, December 4, 2008

Artificial Respiration

Painting from the Lasansky Studio

Artificial Respiration

The old Indian man sitting next to him
in the Tribal Cafe falls face first
into his dessert:



Western Nuclear needs night help
to carry buckets of dirty water:

"Hey, Chief,"
says the white foreman
"Now you'll be able to find your way
when you stagger home from the bar
in the middle of the goddamned night
'cuz you'll be glowing in the dark."

Sometimes, it's easier to wake up
with thoughts of forgiveness
pour a glass of milk
and take a drink before
you realize it should have been sold by April
and it's November now
but you still finish
because it all tastes so familiar.


You watch through your window
into your bedroom from the outside
your wife between the thighs
of another BIA official she keeps
bringing him back to life.

It's all too much when trying to sleep
the lungs cannot hold
all you have to swallow.

Sherman Alexie.......from The Business of Fancydancing


Jannie Funster said...

This reminds me of a story Jim tells about a new radio announcer at the old station where he used to work. Telling about someone who had just bit the biscuit, the new guy announced "attempts to revive him by artifical insemination failed.

Glenn Buttkus said...

There was an active uranium mine on the Spokane Reservation that is fodder for many fine Alexie poems. Our government dollars in action.