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Three Poems


Jim Dunn

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Brains Are Wired



Chomsky said human brains are wired
Like no other animal on the planet

But he’s from Philadelphia and it gets pretty quiet
Inside his Brotherly city love head except for the hum

Of the wires of words and the filters that frame
The electric train lighting the way around his MIT head

Mind is conductor eyes so full head so tight
Can’t you hear me? I was the door and you were

The splintered light coming through
The Muddy Charles bar, oak wood, huge French windows

There’s a police car on the roof and the dirty water flows
Beside Memorial Drive. The pressure here is enormous

Binge drinking deaths and suicides by jumping from buildings
Are as common as brains wired for foul language

The language of sorrow, the language of joy
The masking of desires, stray desires, spread desires

Screaming won’t stop in my haunted house head
Voices complete for divided attention

The halls are so long and the floors reflect the hall lights
Halls longer than endless halls of disturbing dreams

Good will hunt you down on these well buffed floors
Bad will set you free as you slip unnoticed into the men’s room

The columns and the ceilings are so high
They wait in pooling herds to cross Mass Ave

Or cross over into the city on the Smoot Bridge
Count the measured distanced in rolled frat boy lengths

The ghost of Houdini hanging upside down from the rail
Touching the plaque in his name each time I pass it.

Construction never ends, backhoes rest at night behind
Police tape frozen in sleep like metal dinosaurs

Crazy architecture, melting buildings
Dorms with tiny square windows that take a decade to build

Sonic Youth in the gymnasium, Yoko in the student center
Helium in the afternoon, Bob Creeley in the late evening

We learned our lesson, Chomsky said
Brains are wired for electrocutions.



Sweet Sudden Orchestral Silence


The dance is a shadow
On walls that rise

The sound is a sunrise
That shadows the moon

Here’s where the strings
Break your heart

Blue wanderings in
Undreamt rooms
Lights are real
In orange darkness

Slight open hand
Balloons
Bobble in
Parking lot
Winds

Fracture in
The foundation
And all
Things frayed
Begin
To heal



Wednesday On The Floor


He was pronounced
Smith (real name Steven Paul)
Folk-punk singed on the edges
A single knight in an armored car.

A cornerstone of a collapsed building.
Returning to Portland, already gone

Born August wind weary
Wednesday Thursday Friday
WTF

Nobody broke your heart
You broke your own
Chiseled stone face
Black matted hair

Eyes gone south
To sing in another
Whisper parade
Each arm an enemy
With lungs as weapons
And collapsible chairs
For heart to heart silences

Green Street Grilling
Farewell to Lou
Raffle of belongings

Hello to you, misery
Stop and start over
Minor mistakes
Take a mulligan
You took a second helping.
Too good to be here
Too pure for this place.