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Mitch Sisskind - Correspondent at Large

Mitch Sisskind presents "The Big Bang," a poem by Nevin Schreiner

Big Bang
A poem by my writer friend of many years --

The Big Bang
This took place when they were half asleep
The way you look when you roll over and say Huh?
Dead brained, dream soaked
Lava eyed.
While engaged in making a baby
Neither spoke much
Or cared much what the other might say
With the exception of what you wouldn’t exactly call
Like:  Oh fuck, Oh Jesus, and the like.
They were eighteen.
Collectively, thirty six
Heaving away
Breath, sweat, skin, whatnot
Mingled like Japanese cars after a collision
Limp airbags littering
The  floor
The tv howling away
Someone banging on the ceiling or wall.
Nine months later
Sandor Fox arrived
His name a presumptive chariot
Air for a helium zeppelin
A city map
(Instead of a City)
Sprawled on a kitchen table
Or was it a restaurant booth
Amidst red formica dots
Atop laminated
Photographs of eggs.
He cried his little lungs out
To be born an American
At the end of
The age of glory
The age America made up
Looking in its mirror that said
Made in Japan,
Crying like a little sewing machine
A cloister, a swift
Soughing wind,
A piece of damp angel food cake
An overcarobonated 7 up.
Sandor Fox
Born under a pile of bills
Believing in food
Warmth, tits,
Believing in doctors, clergymen
Taxidermy, Congress,
Thinking about five to four
Supreme Court decisions,
Consumed by a need to assert himself
On the next available nipple.
The road not taken
Running through his new house,
Animist furniture
Sprouting strange life between velour couch cushions
And he,  Sandor, a cyclone
Whirling inside the mirror of his parents eyes
He’s wet
They’re fat
The family has cloistered itself in re-sold ideas
Shoveling its past into plastic bags
Confronting its future with Glade.
Sandor. Sandor. What should we do with you?
Hope of our hope.
Destroyer of nakedness.
Curer of dreams.
What should we do when you wake crying at 2 am
With your parents silently growing in their beds?
When you scream at four am,
The hour dreams are packed up for the night.
When your own tiny brain revolves in your skull
Like the dawn sky, emptying itself of stars?
What should we think about you?
What should we do?
I know.
We’ll meet on the street
And I’ll say, Sandor,
Do you realize what we have in common?
We both come from the Big Bang.
No, Silly, not that one,
Not that wet tumbling and rumbling
And fighting and slithering
And skidding, evulsing and sliming:
The other one.
-- Nevin Schreiner

from the archive; first posted August 26, 2012

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Best American Poetry Web ad3
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"Lively and affectionate" Publishers Weekly


I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman

Click image to order


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