Robert Crawford

Multi-Level Marketing

Don't let the owner of the organ grinder store up his music to encapsulate you out of it. That would be a strange occupation, to propagate a hurdy-gurdy crank revolving through shadow, strange though common enough. The way to fun looks difficult, like a tennis court on a mountain top, and where the distinction fell was not around a preliminary issue where practically anything happens, no, no minor one. Such leverage points look useable like a timeshare in country the city's leaching to, or at least the nearby towns. I had my own spin to put on the mutation of notes, in the sense that they melt into adjacencies of rain, visual obstructions, not to mention its being night for a while. What package delivery men can and can't see comprises society and its opposite, which so far lacks a better name. Ignorance and secrecy meant a lot to the person across the street flashing morse code with a penlight through droplets about the four-digit code to an entryway. Even now the picture darkens out of sight almost. A notification on your phone brings me no joy, as another from elsewhere always comes to take its place. How do they do that? How do they not recognize the nature of the case, this room belonging to a person who equates it with their normal job?


I like how everything reflects itself,
how the email reflects the global CEO.
People, their motives differ. In Albany,
certain locals in a cafe rejected Keith's
spiel about the Dalai Lama, whatnot,
and you wonder if he used photographs of them
for recruiting purposes, as social proof.
Earlier photos re: Consumer's Buyline show
him far from the guru, but as a baggy suit
of 90's money schemes. That Bronfman cash came in
after CBI collapsed. Turn a new leaf, meet
Nancy Salzman, Mark Vincente. Catherine Oxenberg's home
burned down in 2018. We all
get experimented on, or dodge the hook, or get hooked
to a fantasy that burns away years, and
to hear a lie enough is to live inside it
until only a main beam suddenly giving way
can disabuse your flowchart to success
onstage in a rented convention hall.


I wanted then the real, in hallways fairly ancient
but it was buried past a corner
within an alcove edged by reflections
and maybe a ways off, due north to silence.
Not really did I make it far
in those intramurals
barely unwrapping a lozenge before terms closed.
It was some in their cubbies,
defining a way of repeating for onlookers
who can no longer see, and anyhow you spun it
it had to be a peacemaker, the state comprised
of contracts sown into flesh, invisible
but rife with significance, and meanwhile we
have grown into our pastimes.


Rainwater's pooled. Brown leaves below
are more distinct and colorful
than those above.
Why the sun is so is clear
enough. The Sackler family can't destroy it,
human yearnings can't entice it
to pursuits that conjure its destruction.
Most radiant it is when hurricanes
have lately gone, whose work exults in statements
lifted to the edge of leaves,
you ancient thing.


So anything can happen. They say the moon is a mirror of the earth reaching us millennia after the fact, with clouds sputtered luridly at the margins? This was your reward, you were saying, to have a place for mind, always clearing or preparing to clear one, always securing the need this implies. It’s humid beneath such shade as the trees project. A mushroom can grow unseen for a long time, and perhaps it’s safe that way, to emerge between the flimsy blades as well provided for. When the boot kicks you in the teeth you have the means, as it were, to regenerate them as such. Our teeth are permanent today, and though no quality is more respected, a well-kept adaptability may deserve more than has been granted it. It belongs to youth and immaturity, or would if that term lacked a telling derision. This time the sky has changed to the color of sand, a cover dispersed or made clear to a blue gauze by dun shreds and hints. Probably to keep looking. The cloud is almost as a nectarine, its shape crazed and senseless. The vigor behind its changes I feel most when it tips to darkening, which is rapid. The color nearly vanishes, then it does. The sky is as it was before, only dark instead of white. Once more it is impenetrable, shielding, holding, silent.


They aren't exactly hauling bodies, but the corner disco isn't exactly secure. Finally there isn't much to do besides what draws the fleet of dayboats, who get the best of it, a few staying on, to keep what they had found.


It's curious how the fear market is renewed,
a parade of images bubbled up by technicians
each night, each day, collected from materials
of offhand or pointed sources. A sourcing sea.
I like pretending I don't live in a Pravda-grade clownshow.
My friends are establishing contact below the ice
with fairies and goblins under the earth there.
They're establishing communication with rocks,
and office supplies ("too bad"). Pretty much
they find a puddle to stir creatures out of,
and for this some have gone to the Tropics.
I keep retrieving you, and keep falling,
and keep wondering how nature did it,
how it made a day like today,
one I suddenly hope not to be without.


The giant head is eating metal balls which must be planets,
of violet storms seen by approximating lenses.
And the big moon is crescent, smiling
wearing sunglasses and playing piano
with a saxophone in the wings, as the curtain
of black liquid reaches our lips. In this way
they bear the status of celebrities who assume
a transferable symbolism detached from personal history
of any intimate sort, using that word in
a broadest sense to include
the intimacy of a shopper and salesclerk
in for example the Time Warner Center, browsing
Cole Haan sneakers, a relation that for some has become impossible.


In Albany, no one may have died, Allison Mack in charge. Perhaps ambiguously, or by the shortest causal chain that can be diagramed. Having flailed around such a place, there was only to affirm our convictions as the case warranted. A contradiction in criminality about wanting to reveal themselves.


Banned from starting another company of the sort,
what was there to do but pivot into what
might cynically be called the service industry?
Certain fundamentals applied. It almost seemed
it had to be this way, as pathologies uncover an outlet,
weaving a few key pieces for a nexus. It's curious, though,
the wish to earn by way of others through still
others, as though turned on by building on more
than what direct reports could sustain. Typically
this owes to the exponential power of numbers,
but here was something of that desire for hiddenness
and its opposite that one senses
in his notion of branding people while convincing them
it was their choice, with a design that was called a landscape
yet unmistakably showed his own initials.


Beneath the earth, opens Google Numbers. Baggage appears a little unattended. But it's not for me, corner of glass bricks and spraypaint that's darkening in spots by an awning. I can't extract what I've received racing along but it's okay at last when spots close. It's up to us to assign a benediction for the bluest among those violet ones. I've pledged allegiance to an old version of this song and now require counsel. Exposed roots reach wherever surveyors lug equipment that doesn't quite add up, mostly to the alley. A salesforce knows a Gantt chart to track tenants. They should probably smooth over a surface more but anyway we'll wait. At times it seems it's not even about the money. All this lay in our town, as noted, with waitful look. I watched planes take off that day, then found a magazine whose outlook spoke a little down to me. Perhaps the fault was shared, I pondered, closing it to look for something real in knots of trees. When illusions fade is entertaining. Someone's riffling through, making connections. Don’t unstitch their leather seat since redoing it always makes a difference. Implements in an unpainted shed, pitchfork, leafblower, spade. I keep forgetting my rules, wandering through the semi-open yard, no longer looking for air but something more earthy, to see ships off. Still, data moves in the inlet or the hotel, with baseboard of defunct Ethernet soon to be erased by a tape measure's scream. To like a place anonymous outside its neighborhood is good, with idiosyncrasies of use and point of view. It could be any region.