David Koehn Delta 5: September 7th The Day After Reading Antin's "John Cage Uncaged Is Still Cagey" I See Waterweed Everywhere

On today’s walk up the slough, I was not with me, there was no muskrat,

No cowbirds, no geese in the distant field. The sun has owned the last month.

Unbeknownst to me the daughter I bought a car for on her graduation

From college has fallen love with a friend of her mother. Also unknown

To me, my girlfriend has set up a pied-a-terre in her ex-husband’s apartment.

The water in the slough usually green and clouded with plankton flows

Clean through the Brazilian waterweed, the spooky tentacles urging

The fish past, filling the trough with the deception that this passage

Is not only clear but also shallow. I’m not supposed to watch football. Like smoking

Its appeal should be passé and its harm a fundamental truth to intelligent

Sensibilities. Perhaps I don’t have intelligent sensibilities. The worst part?

The season opener features the Chiefs versus the Patriots. My performance

Review from work advised me I sometimes think things are good enough

When they are not. That I think people content when they are really quite sad.

“Kareem Hunt, the third round pick out of Toledo, they traded up to get him.

Never fumbled away the football in close to 700 carries in college. He fumbled

On his first carry in the NFL.” On the couch next to me is the sky blue soft cover

Of David Antin’s john cage uncaged is still cagey. Somewhere last night

I found myself thinking about dry-farmed tomatoes, their intense flavor

Really just a throwback to pre-industrial food chain. They remind me of tomatoes

Picked off the vine near Siena, rubbed clean on my t-shirt, and bitten into. The explosion

Of flavor fills the mouth with a surge that registers as intellectual surprise, as if

A great idea had just occurred to me, but there was no idea there, just tomato.

At the edge of the slough where I expect to find fishermen, there are none.

Enough already, nothing is fucking sacred. That is what props

Up disbelief in scientific truth; there is however my dream of us.

I wait expecting to see a bass surface from the fingers of the waterweed.

I wait expecting to see a speedboat rush past, hurrying from where to where

I don’t know. I wait expecting the doors to the storage garages across the field

To open. But that is really my problem, isn’t it.

Some part of expectation is avoidance of what is really happening.

What is really happening?

Four practice range golf balls litter a ditch aside a cornfield.

I left the TV on and there is a commercial for the premiere

Of the 10th season of “Parts Unknown.”

What is really happening is that I have not

Been listening to my son, he has been saying that “I love walking in nature

Because it makes me feel good, I don’t know, it just always has.” On the wall

In the living room of our house is a 2’ x 2’ Sterling & Noble wall clock. Time

Rules that room, the ever quivering second hand signaling next, next, next.

Antin noted of

composition as process

, that “the whole piece is divided into six sections

Stanzas or cantos and each section opens with the same opening line:

‘This is a lecture on composition which is indeterminate with respect to its performance.’”

My daughter does not love me or more precisely she does not love me enough

To care what I think or feel. I envy you. I envy. You, I envy.

The bookmark in the Antin has a shopping list written in black felt tip pen

With six items: Water, Chips, Ice Cream, Paper Towels, Milk, Potatoes.

What is really happening? The runs of light slice the leafless olive into fragments.

I too, boys, take a dim view of comparisons. We plan to frame the opening

Between the office and the hallway with astragal to match the doors

Throughout the house. When I was in 5th grade in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin

We played football in my neighbor’s yard. It was there I dove on the ground

To recover a fumble, before I could pull the football back to my body, Jeff

Who was jealous that I was “dating” Sally, landed on my arm and snapped

The ulna. The ulna was yanked up into my bicep by the strength of the tendon.

Florida suffers, and suffers, Irma making a mess of her garden. Irma crushes

The pumpkins with her heel. She pulls the wax beans out at the root.

In film noir, is there a truer character ever invented than Verbal Kint?

When Kint limps down the street and through the art of blocking straightens

Up and walks evenly and keenly into a defined future, who does not cringe

And see how life is like Kint, telling the story we need to hear from the details

In our very midst -- the lie that gives and gives, until appeased, we let it slip away

Without penalty despite the con. Keyser Soze does not exist, yet I live in fear of him.

In the high heat, coyotes lie dead on the side of the road from here to San Francisco.

This is an incredibly thin tracking device.

In the high heat, animals change their ways, will go to any length to find water.


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