Adam DeGraff


Sails in milk/ Cream

Tacked up in toilet stalls of the D note, all in a row,
pretty milk maids, your book, for further meditation,

your face, read, the richest gleaned from the merest,
mine, rather hers, ours, where sullied, sordid,
you see a window of a belly, grace, light and life,
and then the self erasure, the lint not worth bothering
about flying around in that button of the window,
whirling around, enveloping, arcing out of sleep,
yes I see it, this distended ordeal ever whetting,
abjuring your cock-a-doodle lingo, Stevens Brand
Milk, chilly alabaster, sporting a glove, clinical,
the letter of the word curdling into enslaving sense;

fought with oppositional nonsense, pulled from the titty
of the reader, lost in time, who is Berthe?

Another disdained detail along the trail of milk?

Romanian saltimbanques squeezing out the hole in precious drops,
these lines getting longer and longer, the shortness of yours
admirable, the condensation, fully pasteurized, this
little figure adrift, while whom suckles stories?

And no, how does that end? We'll think about that on the shitter,
think about the man standing in the hallway
that could make a difference, from a dream?

You're gonna put him in a robe? Worlds collide. Do they?
Yes, four hundred thousand miles into the future
is right here and now. Nothing is familiar, though naked,
"there I found myself more truly, and more strange."
Wallace again. A would be sentience, nicely put,
all that sweat from the brow of the book, K's
"I am writing", all that, cheeky swerve into chewing cud,
coming up with all that is wanting, needing is wanting,
milking, lines from Neutral Milk Hotel, that great milk
music, "and sweet babies cry for the cool taste of milking,
that milky delight that invited us all".
                                                                     And the nod
to the murderer, too, the desexed villain of the Weird,
Lady Macbeth herself, (I see your game), the unglinting glare,
the washing of one's hands in milk, necessary as
the justice beset by the very stewards of life,
a child's horror movie no small exaggeration,
juxtaposed with Yeat's Beast, slouching
into the courtroom, representing the West, bleeding
the bastards,
                            and why do I suddenly think of
Lee Scratch Perry living in Iceland for the reason that it's
never not white there? Perhaps because, though I had not yet turned
the page (on this my second reading) we were going to
Mother Africa, and to the hope that the milk transcends
any dirty associations, any red herringed glove,

a sincere prayer, and you are absolved, followed by,
as is the custom, a joke, ha ha, very funny.

How about a peanut walks into a milk chocolate bar.

Sounds good right about now, but can wait, while
I maintain the read, the thread, what has taken place
meanwhile? A "deformation" in mysterious quotations,
but that's another story, so the lyric takes over,
lead by another pun, k? Leading a horse to water,
I'll drink, I'll drink, the water dreaming of milk
and honey, the promised land, rich with the source
of western lit, the holy writ, the curdled word,
rising up from the desert of milk and honey,
Un coup du lait, oh I can't stand it, so fucking
curdled by now, French the most curdled language possible,
smash the cup with Thor's hammer, the barbarian
at the gate, you dandy pansy, just wanna
take you home and plant you. A little brown
bear grows from the seed, cute little guy
covering the eyes of the cute little guy
covering the eyes, my favorite part, flirt, cause
its so damn cute, that's charm, that's civil,
I suppose, you wrestle with the old devil,

hey that's a little song, something altogether
different, but thanks for the impetus, okay
I'm still with you, you were arguing with yourself,
resigned yourself and then rocketed off to the milky way,
some engine troubles but pretty soon "come alive/
at the break of/ the infernal/ love milk baby/
outta sight" a perfect quintrain, inside the perfect
meditation, as dramatic as all of Baudelaire,
what can no longer be said, said so well, "whose evil/
ever pure/ laying waste/ so seized this mortal/ milk
of nape,/ of thighs" pure damning poetry, of which
I know pure, and therefore completely out of date,
gloriously, because you see,
                                                   that's the holy smoke
got you there, found from whatever K hole you wanna go
down, it's all there in the poem currently residing
in the pocket of the green pants like a dog, because you see,
that's crazy milk, a poem, like a coda, before the brakes,

the colors spouting out from the white, yes that's
what coffee at night will do to you, earth to Sharp,
come in Sharp, eat something says ma, you look pale
as milk. See you say, had I been there... but you wrote it
down and therefore were there, catching me as I fell.

Leave the sutures to the doctors, but thanks for thinking
of us, disappearing into you, caught up in a good book,
where you made me groan, man. Why art? A villain. Cheers.

You have made art and been unmade by it. You invite
us blindly, entice, obscure, a la Ship Of Fools,
a la Whitman in "I am the book you are holding in your hands",
get rid of the comma after beyond, spell disgusted,
after traveling over the great milky white, we just go to bed,

Chris Sharp's A Book of Milk