Ordinary History America

By Garrett Caples Garrett Caples
the trapdoor is closed; am finite again, but a moment ago—levitation!
purple lights the bluewater bridge turned on the oil-
black river st clair became fuel for the nightfishers there
it was the dream of a memory or the memory of a dream
that dumped me below a window, watching a woman change
into a man. she entered his dairy log: at first all the world was america
and didn’t that suck, he thunk, and strunk his cunk against
an overwrought iron fence. they stood waiting like that photograph
of the bootblack jack and the aristocrat
                                                       looking away from her window
at a fact well worth recording—Alexander Graham Bell wanted to call
his daughter Photophone. between the forest and the gander
i hand her over to Metacomet. yes i certainly did.
and King Philip sayeth unto me: nature denatured thee
friction alone makes her come therefore i need some more
before you make me wear’um pants. O failed invention!
where’d you get that voice? refusing to come
to a particular point, castration finally made sense.

Garrett Caples, “Ordinary History America” from Complications. Copyright © 2007 by Garrett Caples, published by Meritage Press. Reprinted by permission of Garrett Caples.

Source: Complications (Meritage Press, 2007)

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Poet Garrett Caples


Subjects Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries

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 Garrett  Caples


Garrett Caples is the author of The Garrett Caples Reader (1999), Complications (2007), Quintessence of the Minor: Symbolist Poetry in English (2010), and Retrievals (2014). He's an editor at City Lights Books, where he curates the Spotlight poetry series and has worked on such books as Tau by Philip Lamantia/Journey to the End by John Hoffman (Pocket Poets #59) and When I Was a Poet by David Meltzer (Pocket Poets #60).  He is . . .

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SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Language & Linguistics, Social Commentaries


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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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