Posted by: Ron DuBour | January 19, 2016

PAST THE CITY LIMITS OF INDIFFERENCE~by Bob Williams


 

 

PAST THE CITY LIMITS OF INDIFFERENCE

 

Welcome to the City of Indifference
where many exist
but nobody lives.

In Indifference the firemen extinguish themselves
then put out the fires of everyone else.

In Indifference the firemen turn out the man,
homeless now,
whose counterfeit smile
turned itself in
for underground ore
alchemized
into
real worth.

They ignore the misshapen cat,
passionate-eyed,
imprinted with numbers
license plates left on its fur.

They jail the vagrant,
a skinny-dipping Pisces
caught crawling lengths
past midnight
in vacant
municipal
pools.

They ignore the mayor’s bastard son
stuttering poems on the street.

In Indifference
the people
are doldrums
who remember,
forget,
then list
back to drifting.

Outside Indifference,
ears of corn
turn in warm winds
to the scarecrow,
whispering thanks
to burlap ears
as the wind
unstitches
the scarecrow’s mouth
from its sackcloth
to sing to the corn in the twilight,
urging the grain into growing.

Outside Indifference,
the evicted
weather down to the passions
they always essentially were.

The bastard winters
just inside city limits
disguised as a snowman.
No one will notice
his cold coal mouth
mouthing poems.

His arms can’t scratch
his anthracite stare
into sparks
past this darkness
where stars are only faraway callers
whose heat is false promise.

But even Indifference has seasons.

Come spring in Indifference,
the skinny-dipping Pisces
plays in May rain

while Indifference’s silicone citizens
stand in municipal pools,
stray from the deep ends,
wade in the shallows,

all to be seen being beautiful.

On June nights in Indifference,
the man who won’t smile
presses his summer heart
to the grass
in a field full of crickets,
its hidden beating
absorbed by moles
tunneling under the stones.

The maimed cat’s purr in October
crackles like all the lost leaves
scratching the concrete around it.

It knows it doesn’t belong here.

It loves chasing colors
in graceless shambles
down autumn lanes
echoing lastness.

Nobody owns it.
It limps to be strong.

It’s a kitten
that outgrew the cat.

On nights when nobody takes it in,
it sleeps in a dumpster
on half-eaten sandwiches.

When it awakens,
it chases chestnuts
and bats them
and bats them
again
against trees
it can’t climb.

Declawed, it massages
what’s left out of numbness,

paws vagrants awake
from bad dreams.

By Bob Williams

 

Welcome to the City of Indifference
where many exist
but nobody lives.

In Indifference the firemen extinguish themselves
then put out the fires of everyone else.

In Indifference the firemen turn out the man,
homeless now,
whose counterfeit smile
turned itself in
for underground ore
alchemized
into
real worth.

They ignore the misshapen cat,
passionate-eyed,
imprinted with numbers
license plates left on its fur.

They jail the vagrant,
a skinny-dipping Pisces
caught crawling lengths
past midnight
in vacant
municipal
pools.

They ignore the mayor’s bastard son
stuttering poems on the street.

In Indifference
the people
are doldrums
who remember,
forget,
then list
back to drifting.

Outside Indifference,
ears of corn
turn in warm winds
to the scarecrow,
whispering thanks
to burlap ears
as the wind
unstitches
the scarecrow’s mouth
from its sackcloth
to sing to the corn in the twilight,
urging the grain into growing.

Outside Indifference,
the evicted
weather down to the passions
they always essentially were.

The bastard winters
just inside city limits
disguised as a snowman.
No one will notice
his cold coal mouth
mouthing poems.

His arms can’t scratch
his anthracite stare
into sparks
past this darkness
where stars are only faraway callers
whose heat is false promise.

But even Indifference has seasons.

Come spring in Indifference,
the skinny-dipping Pisces
plays in May rain

while Indifference’s silicone citizens
stand in municipal pools,
stray from the deep ends,
wade in the shallows,

all to be seen being beautiful.

On June nights in Indifference,
the man who won’t smile
presses his summer heart
to the grass
in a field full of crickets,
its hidden beating
absorbed by moles
tunneling under the stones.

The maimed cat’s purr in October
crackles like all the lost leaves
scratching the concrete around it.

It knows it doesn’t belong here.

It loves chasing colors
in graceless shambles
down autumn lanes
echoing lastness.

Nobody owns it.
It limps to be strong.

It’s a kitten
that outgrew the cat.

On nights when nobody takes it in,
it sleeps in a dumpster
on half-eaten sandwiches.

When it awakens,
it chases chestnuts
and bats them
and bats them
again
against trees
it can’t climb.

Declawed, it massages
what’s left out of numbness,

paws vagrants awake
from bad dreams.

By Bob Williams

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