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.