Shirts or Skins, a 2014 poetry chapbook by Jim Redmond

After-the-Music Music

I’m still in the funk of it:
the early Jefferson Airplane,
or Sly after the Family Stone
decides to move on.
Does this mean my coke habit
doesn’t matter anymore?

Does this mean my childhood
wasn’t a tire-fire hung from a tree-swing?

Does this make my face look big, or even bigger—

because I want it to …

Things get very quiet, things get very low.
I can’t even pick my own bass line out of a line-up,
I can’t even measure myself in the black light
anymore, I can’t even tell you
which one of those is the actual disco ball
and which one is just pretending.

Everything comes back to me all fractured, fugazi.
Too awake in the fun house

I find the me I’ve been looking for
but he’s busy later tonight.

A pound of flesh
is market price on all of these menus …

Did you still need a few minutes before you decide?

Somebody asks somebody
how many ghost monies
is this one—

he points to himself.

I know you from somewhere
don’t I,
no, you know me from nowhere,
now do what you’re told.


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