anthony frame

Grunge Poem, 1995


It wasn’t about not bathing


or drying our hair into twigs.

We wanted to hear mortality


in the opening notes of “Today.” 

Like the paraplegic


at the free Smashing Pumpkins show

who body surfed in his wheelchair, 


head banging a path to the stage.

So, lacking cows, we drove our nights


deep through the suburbs to tip

over port-o-johns while singing


I can’t wait for tomorrow.

I might not have that long. 


That boy became our legend

as Billy Corgan held him on stage,


the wheelchair swallowed below.





Letter to a Former Student Recently Deployed to Iraq, Summer 2007


The wedding was wonderful.

As you and Shelly look back, forget


the storms, the traffic, the way

your mother cried stains


on your new uniform. Think about

Shelly, her eyes, the picture


beneath the oak tree.  You both

deserved better weather.  When the priest


presented you, I remembered

your essay, the one where


your motorcycle cursed you with its tires

and your knee cap shredded −


how did you say it? − like a cloud.

Does it rain where you are now?  Why


do I think it doesn’t?  As if Iraq

was some alien planet, a land


where the ground is all ash and the air

is heavy with chemical formulas.


As if Iraq was a world where it made sense

to ask you about the weather.