Sure, just let me change my shoes
shoes, you know, my walking shoes
the shoes I will wear are dynamite shoes
your dream of such unmitigated shoes.
Canvas tops with a rubber sole
(no, I did not say soul, I said sole)
this shoe—or maybe I’d fall for that shoe in leather
sandals really, which the vegans don’t like
for me to wear poor bovines.
Whatever you grab
for chews to feed your puppy
him shoed like horse’s hooves
if that’s what you love
ramble rant rave.
Why, I bet your grandfather’s shoes
are too small for you to slip on
and dance swing-and-sway the way
he loved to dancehall all over town
before the Fall.
Of Saigon. Where
in the shoe factories lining the Mekong,
thousands toiled them shod in sandals
cut from Michelin tire treads
fingering out the Londonderry Air
on the A-flat shoe horn searching for
reaching for the high scales bespoke
and the lone highways that seduce
deformed hunters sidling along
on the shoulders of the chaussées
déformées all across sage-scented
Mediterranean hinterlands speaking
in strange tongues more sibilant
than you can throw a fit about
sensing that shoe tongues are not
the same as pig’s tongues
even though they do look alike
slimy with saliva and chewing tobacco.
Oh, so you didn’t know
pigs chew tobacco? Shoot baby,
pigs’ll eat ivy too, wouldn’t . . .
you know that brings up the whole issue of flies
not trouser flies but shoo flies and blackberry cobbler
fierce when spilled on a lived-in shoe’s linoleum floor with the stardust design
then shoed aside by Shinto priests prancing in solemn duo
at the Old Woman’s wake, alive alive
Oh. Ready to go?