Four Poems and a video extravaganza by Jason Hardung
THE WAY SHE MOVES
When I watch a woman dance
she becomes less human
and more real. Moved by
something greater than the strings
that pull us through our days.
She lets go,
the heavens open up,
the spotlight shines down-
she moves oblivious.
After the poetry reading
she introduces herself
and calls me “amazing.”
I wish I felt the same way.
She does not realize yet
I am not my poems
but only the scraps that are left-
the words never used.
SOMEBODY ELSE’S LIFE STORY
My veins have collapsed
although I live in paradise.
I forgot how music made us move
in the cab of my silver pick-up truck
out there in the barb wired fields
fucked over like flags in the wind.
We were method actors
in a shady B movie.
Background characters in somebody else’s life story.
We wore black and climbed the big tree in the park
out by I-80, as the whisp of tail lights, like kicked up dust,
were a constant reminder
that there were other places to go
other people to be.
Things we’ve only seen thumbing through
fashion magazines, stoned on your bedroom floor.
It was either Bob Dylan or punk rock back then.
It’s where I fell in love with words.
Poetry came to me after you made me read Wilderness and Tarantula.
I wrote it to impress you.
I still have all of the break up letters you sent
and the plastic farm animals from the Salvation Army
that you shipped when I went out on my own.
I sat them on the window sill in Omaha.
You showed me how to be lonely.
I didn’t know what to think
when I heard you drowned in the river.
Since you were the one that taught me to swim.
Taught me I wasn’t as ugly as I thought
and that I have no control over anything.
I was beating myself up
over all the people that don’t like me
because of the choices I’ve made,
when I came across a photo of Bob Dylan,
the President of the United States behind him,
draping a medal for some sort
of lifetime achievement
around his neck.
Bob, stone-faced behind dark sunglasses
not giving a fuck
what the medal was for,
who was presenting it to him
everybody was standing, clapping,
instead of booing him off stage
for going electric.