Zones

by Enablers

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1.
Even Its Lies: Centre Street, Red Hook Jimmy working a rake on the narrow, weedy strip, piles dry leaves, strays of chicken bone & candy wrapper flush against rolling iron gate, bags them all up, & shortly tucks into his fun boot-crushing used needles he kicks the bits of into a side street’s tiny state of grace his vigilance and his holstered .38 forget; surveying a sky and a road leading up to the sun backlighting the appearance of a morning’s drifty though usual cast of players-- some baggy-drawer’d kids off to school, a passing, working ass or two--- his head nearly lost within reveries of earthly, remote bodies realized of a morning, of a mood, when his heart (even its lies) still beats to god-fearing rarity & elegance. Without a word, night is over. Because he says so.
2.
Cha Cha Cha 04:05
Cha Cha Cha Swimming among all this tract of blue nodding up to the sky, it hits me: the coloring pens I recall using for this very scene. There’s premonition unfolding in it until the moment is just here at last, a talismanic blue buckling around a body of memory as it wades refracted into me, another stone, another sunken ship sea ghosts deploy in bright, warping tremors. Desire is much more enduring than patience. Sunlight hits this water waiting in the sea, the one water I kept in a coloring book years ago, erecting the seconds in pen-strokes and swabs. Underwater is the place to be, this flashing point where a sun and a boy collide and color in the sea. It is like stardust down here, or, if not stellar, it’s the substance of an asterisk my arms and legs invoke with every stroke. Leaving the room, I looked back. All the memories, they all say I looked back.
3.
Furthermore 03:03
Furthermore Then she starts talking about repairs, improvements, all the extra wood and copper piping we have laying around, all the shelving, she says, shelves! Like, we can make so many shelves, she says, and her mother comes through, my mother comes through, and hearing any mother is an ear in transcendence, mothers queuing up ancestrally, our mothers’ husbands’ mothers and their mothers, a throng of mothers’ voices speaking from a pressing continuum lowering the skies and the air, the ages, into my ear before the toast pops up and I’m no longer quite hungry, no thank you, and I sip my coffee, she sips her tea, and I take a drag of my cigarette and stand up mum, resisting my loose lips and instead exhale another small drainage of years and promises and letters and phone calls like smoke from a great pale of embers, rising, and bump my head on the overhead light. “Did you hear me?”
4.
Squint 04:30
Squint: the Correspondent in Absentia But if it still serves, and for the record, consider its effects: the Polaroid achieves shapes first, then gets on with the dreamy particulars: long, small sets of breaking waves; low tide’s pungent, shore-strewn foam; a white stone lighthouse appearing and appearing a little more through the yellow windblown flaps. Out here, yellow matters. It is one half of brown and you are green, and that makes brown, which rhymes with the year a president’s voice on the radio always offers a fondness for a makeshift tent and squalor. Once, after a reception fit only for braggarts and the future’s best and brightest, and after you pissed on the club’s soundboard in reaction to a questionable case of low flirtation, you received a box in the mail, opened it, and erupting in one ornamental word on a hot pink flashcard: Tact. And one more, not ornamental, on the back: (Repeat) Only after sitting up do you remember “out here” is not desert at all, and speaking is useless when you can just shut up and rub her feet, churning out silence the more skin is absorbed into skin. You arrived lily-white, smitten with yourself, a muttering, pre-packaged humor subject to a keen test of performance and guile. Fail, and it’s back to a life of air and rail terminals (away forever, really), and your lacunae of calendar dates entombed in a spiritless Polaroid. Your dispatch: beacon against a white-hot sky overlooking a gem-blue sea war going on everywhere Repeat. You are proverbial, one day leads into the next day—blah blah. You are not the lone, pensive beachcomber, just the lone beachcomber in a shattering and reforming occupation of breezes the terrain, come dusk, stops accepting by fire light. Nights grow full and the lighthouse lows, its beam in dutiful rotation, trying to tell a war from a stupor by the sea.
5.
Goon Seat 04:10
Goon Seat Your suspicions quiet down, your body hair quiets down. But you still can’t explain whether it’s her or you you’ve come here to embrace, feeling strangely winged in this big and dark and now nearly empty room, grateful the disunity she doesn’t bother to tell you about today is now just a silent act of pulling open your jacket, placing her ear at your chest and breathing around vowels, until the tears’ old and future reasons drop like opposing hands in the dark --where tears want you anyway: mule-kicked awake, really awake, the surprised face of presence and saga you’re never quite ready for staring back from a reflective March sky you’re probing for a courage unnoticed by any season in a railroad apartment, flipping lights on and on, borne out like an untouched, fly-circled bowl of fruit cocktail left too long in the sun but still colorful enough to remain in this potboiler’s mise en scene. Pan back: the pigeons have returned and are lifting from the rooftops, spiraling up and up against the hazy skyline, dappling brown to white, a kind of vengeance and testament hurling out of the flaps of wing. You’re winged, remember? Stop talking to yourself and put your face where the one rogue pigeon has gone, breaking off from the flock, tasting something rarified in all directions, all reviews, until it comes back. That bird always comes back.
6.
Bill, in Consideration He’s breezy at the hinges, Bill dual parts windrow and dinner theater villain stalking gooks along the near wall soft-shoe footwork like the shaky grace of punched-out middleweights moving through trouble and only finding more --those moves chronically short of leaving Nam behind “for real, bro,” harboring who-knows-what-foolishness in prizes under that natty saw tooth most likely plucked from behind Wardrobe’s back during tonight’s Nash Bridges shoot two blocks down. But the Homburg--- wow. The Homburg, cocked and jaunty as a French locution stinks, and such power in stink defies him, penetrating lines three-deep at the bar where Bill, in consideration, comes blunt & clear of his previous figments under a pink neon martini glass, sickly and sweating purveyor of another old, old night’s farce in early morning’s glare like he’s popped up on a corner somewhere, maligned but going, enduring, a perennial shred of natal promise, Bill, just never quite whole Bill yet.
7.
In McCullin’s Photograph There’s a moot business to misery. We pick up the sullen, weak, or deprived body of a child and we move by some arcane duty to act, abiding hell on earth as any other inconvenience. We cannot fear. There’s no effort in fear. Fear comes, yes, it has to. But we condone it. We have to. We let grief, under a force of its own profound, unnameable commitment, slip away to our beds where it will pounce at last, a heavy and hulking presence on our chests we learn to beat down to a pulpy solace and intellect and then drink deeply of it, picking up the body of the dying child, the corpse, even the dead dog, tending to their miraculously fractal effects despite the wars and bombs and distortions of annihilated cities. The business has always been here, in any millennia, in any country, enforcing the skipped meal, adjudicating the dust, heaping one task onto another so that our forbearing, micro-charged bodies push one century to the next century, shunting McCullin’s photograph to another mere image. We are surprising no one.
8.
Broke 02:48
Broke Not dithering, or the imbecilic waiting on luck. A well-kept ardor ensues, convalescing mercy back to the simple, privileged source of seeing trees turn once more to age— how the colors alone might be one brittle nerve lost among leaves the evening’s crispy hues cool around, like the stars’ one last struggle arrives at the buildings and the docks. Not worry, either, over dinner’s somewhat pained and brisk meditations between bites, between every deflating assurance of It gets better. If it’s surrender you’re after, look for it under a submission of eggs and toast, your dinner of souls and ritual searching through every room for a sentient pulse to feed on and terminate; to let your hands go slack and fold up into the slow and solemn rotations hands can lose control of, under water, at play among each loosening compass point the memory of the rapt little boy at a kitchen sink steals from money.
9.
Zones 11:17
Zones The streets are empty as night arrives, as night arrives baring back against the occasional glaze & yaw of a cop car’s lights, the cunning lights baring back the room & the walls. We’ve been broken down into zones, down well into zones & walls, warned to stay inside, inside, waiting to see what the river’s walls, waiting, might do, or what the river does, waiting, too. Quiet, slinking in on some deft immemorial toe, is beaten back, arrives & is beaten back, crushed under a crucible of phone calls, a crucible everyone speaks the same forlorn language from & then tires of, cycling back to the giddy throes the storm’s advance rattles deep & deepfully into trees. And the seekers outside with their ominous anticipations-- they look like hooded Ancients, like hooded Ancients intuiting signs & some hallowed meaning in the signs ascribed to the gloom, squinting upwards into the fine, fine-needled rain flanking the seekers, their lefts and rights flanked, the rain enfilading the next corner, the next stubborn, open bar the seekers enfiladed already, tipping back shots and bearing teeth like walls of a wet White Whale’s cheeky grin up to the gloom. And still baring back against the occasional glazed-&-glacial lights of a cop car, the emptiness of zones & walls troubles the windows, the windows staring back at the air, and the air knows itself to be scuttling old claws left too long in the rain, in the rain, scuttling old claws clamoring in the rain for our curiosity and grudges, old, rime-y claws riding one city’s one long, dull wave between the wall & mattress for days gone on, for days gone tumbling for days on end for one city gone missing.

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released June 14, 2019

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Enablers

Band Members: Joe Goldring (former Swans, Toiling Midgets, Touched by a Janitor) on guitar; Kevin Robert Thomson (former Nice Strong Arm, Timco, Touched by a Janitor, now Hazel Atlas) also on guitar; poet, writer, and narrator Pete Simonelli on vocals. Rounding out the line-up is drummer Sam Ospovat (Ava Mendoza, Brendan Seabrook, tUnE-yArDs, William Winant). ... more

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