Two Poems

In Memory of Alan Horvath

By David Pishnery



Just drive he said
and we did like tourists
armed with six paks :
the liquid windshield
out of focus
the heavy odor
of the flats giving birth
to steel along
the great crooked river
or the touch football
games along the
west side cliffs'
arms extended
out into space and air and water
teetering on an instant forgetfulness
none of us imagining
the rocks and cocks and condoms
and sunken cars
down below the cliffs
But now gravity has taken
it's toll on those cars
we drove through the streets
weighted down with mounds
of beer bottles and roaches
mimeo test sheets getting
closer to the ground
heavy boxes of words
and the people
getting closer to the ground
especially those lucky ones
sitting in THE HOT DOG INN
on Detroit Avenue
on stools of red vinyl plastic
as neon green chili was slopped
onto stale buns of lukewarm dogs
(wishing for surf board hash
and kegs of red wine)
And we never calculated
the amount of gas and oil we used
figuring it didn't matter
and the RIDE was the thing
or how much music was left
to be absorbed before the mind
exploded from information overload
and would ooze
back into the street
where it started in the first place
It is refreshing to think
that we didn't have to
strike blows against
the Empire because we were
an army of four
fighting at night
in the basements and cellars
of our fathers houses
and in the back seats
of cars and coffee-houses
and burger queens of grease
we were fighting the good fight
it just wasn't their good fight
But at least the word got out
and we paid attention to the night
at least we couldn't say
we didn't take the chance
and that is what had to be done
and I can't remember a word of it
only the moonlight and starlight
only the vibrations in my pants
only the wishing the crack
in the mimeo
wasn't exactly in the middle
of the page
and all this had been said before



My friends' wife
is a klutz
She speared his hand
with an X-acto knife
working on chapbooks
cut her finger up
on a glass
that broke in the dishpan
He says he'll never
leave her
but may kill her
with his bare hands
but I don't think he will
She knows too much
Knows every concert
they ever went to
what songs were played
and in what order
This is useful information
when music is worn
close to the skin
when it runs headlong
through your life
I visited him a few times
when he
moved to the northwest
but I always stayed clear of her
when there were sharp objects near
Better to be safe than maimed
or in jail as an accessory
to murder


Return to Index for Alan Horvath Memorial
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