Most of yr stumbling will be from yr refusal to see things that’re not there.
Some small things’re really perfect, like: this cookie. Its chubby pumice body.
Regarding the story: we don’t know what comes up until we get it down.
All day reciting toilet stall hisses, like, “The story of you-ness will simply write itself”.
Everything steps from one step to the other in such microscopic increments.
I just really don’t think it’s effective to make plans—as soon as you do
the tide has changed, the moment redefined. Spooky, for sure. Beware, then
of designing for your loneliness any reality requiring too fine a choreography
of the universe to pull off without rehearsal.
When you close the door behind one another & as you each gaze at the
romance of the other, if you should notice teetering imbalances
you can both discuss collapsing simultaneously on the floor.
Just as do days of the week, what with the falling, the sleep
then the waking up still at it, & over again.
A container of the universe is a poem:
tell us what you think.
I’d help you deal with your selfishness
but I’ve got my own to concern me.
Don’t you want to be that place for others
where security is no question?
Blinded by a fear of wool over the eyes.
Don’t go always in the habit of loving in hindsight.
If we weren’t boxing away at waves in the ocean
we’d be bruising our own children, heiroglyphs
for the ones that reared us: tread marks, a fence,
a hole in the backyard, a swinging door, what’s for dinner,
a dark bedroom hour where no peep dare sound,
on the mantle a rack-of-ribs christ on a crucifix hanging
by his nails forgiving some not-know-what-they-do’s on skull hill,
perhaps a bit of ourselves agonizing, “Look at me now
I have performed the steps of time like a conversation
with many complaints, but it was an interpretive dance
and my theme was complaint. By your many hands
I was passed, like in transit, like the peace pipe.
Look at me now, I forgive you. Look at me forgiving you.
So many years, you never told me. You’ve got no clue
what you are doing here, how you affect anything,
and you think you’re going nut-so. I forgive you, but
if I’d’ve known, I would have crushed you instead
of feeling like the only one.”
The Pit Of It
Great taste is a matter of
We’ven’t the time, sometimes
will shine when it is raining & you know
this kind of bright sprinkle
is how I first came
Houston, in the first days? When the air’s
thick w a smell
& car exhaust & dumpsters full
of plastic bellies
think of Saigon.
We’ve categorized the whole planet
to our liking — the wholeness of one’s
an intimate secret.
An historian picks a word
then threads it across time
Then the folk talk of
“It’s all relative,”
aye, yes — of course —
but we only mention it when one of us has got
to shut up
when the bridge has already been built
as a flag of what separates.
these days, long enough to wonder
if the laughter sounds at all
of its sincerity.
Then, the tragedy
of a foot risen over the edge of the bath
then, the other foot
out of the bath, & the whole
drips with the flushes
of having misunderstood.
A Little Bit Of
substance can make you very charming.
Marijuana makes me feel very charming.
Everything you look at is in its own little world.
Everything is so fine, so fine in its detail.
You contemplate yourself in finer detail.
I feel like an 85 year old man who just woke up in a 25 year old’s body and the first thing he notices is that his sex organs work again.
My body is swollen with warm blood.
Headaches like it’s been leaning against the window, kind of thing.
Sunbathing in my own imagination.
Being at work is so easy, here I am writing a poem, brewing iced tea, and flirting with customers.
A little bit of substance can make you very interesting.
Flirting can make you very interesting.
mind transforms to body
I am twenty-five & a half
(years, that is)
& the transition is more
or less beautiful
I will no longer afford to the gods
they always beg for seriousness
and when they beg they are likewise
too intense, too dry
but even I from my street corner
can see: they are not themselves
serious at all
I prefer a god
who is unavailable
Sitting on a porcelain throne
I think about propriety
fasten my waist
& now decide to write unconsciously
some final line, without fear
“I am not afraid.”
Sitting Across From You
I am not tall enough, and these elbows
flap like skates on slick ice —
the table’s smooth as a flat brushing
motion — and from here I see: how as a woman
you split yourself, how you paw at which
tool in the bag the suitor may want you for
the answer is any, or, if in the quiet
morning, if he should wake before you do:
nothing at all. Company is enough for me
most minutes — you will think that, like a dog
at your knee, I beg for what is on the table —
you will draw listless the calculations: how
many bushels of my womanhood are to be spared
this season? by whose hand might it grow
tingling beneath the earth’s face? as I
paw at the table, to wipe from my hand
my own dust — a breath, now, not to be
the rake, but to be the tended stalk — only
to fill an empty space, for once, that I did not
first have to bore out myself.
Shrines for eyes
The skull is a container for silence,
a tin bucket of pitch.
A tame ghost does not leave its casket.
I smoke to take the spirit for recess
like a dog for a walk
around the prison gym: a prism/gem.
(Pun-ishment.) It is not up to you to depend
on loved ones for the
urgency of breaking precious shackles.
“Mind-forged manacles” says Blake,
meaning the eternal hippie
placidly sharpening his spoon while making
a bowl of his cell.
All I think of is my affections and then I’m heartbroken
not just every time, but once, indivisibly, and I think
what am I to do, there is a lantern where my rib cage grips me
and I never knew it but there was no light in it until you
sidled me and said hello, what can a man do
in a position like that I am a barnacle on a whale
and you’re the driver and I am —
were you ever once lost, as a child? The strip mall,
the water park, do you remember? A couple of old women
picked you up off the bench and said ‘You don’t belong here.’
And just like that the world was so large, do you remember?
I wear my sorrows like I deserve to smile, darling, and you
wear me out you’re so gorgeous,
the concrete here is cold I’m drunk and I’m stoned and hankering
a fix for something daring like ‘coupling’, and I don’t even
know you, but I’m slain here
outside a tea house, singing ‘it’s by far the hardest thing
I’ve ever done,
to be so in love
with you and so alone’
with a feeling disguised as the shape of a name,
pleasure, an asana of devastation.
Foolish, kitty, yes,
I want to be foolish,
kitty, I’ve been starved
& let me tell you:
it isn’t at the bottom
of this cup—
having drunk from it, I should know.
& kitty, it isn’t in the sound
of my fork
scraping this empty plate
how one forgets, you know,
the food one has done without—
the hardening frown—
&, say, who would I expect
to nourish such dead expression?
I’m smiling now, kitty,
because I am a debutante
because a smile is so sexy
because if I show you mine
you will show me yours.
&, say, what is on the roof?
I intend to carry us there
survey the earth,
swirl that dome of dusty stars—
to bare an impulse
like a kind word from behind the
confines of an honest face,
to lay a trap of my body
to be, before you, some
sun-basking & paralyzed
swelled up in a lusty show
of spring (it is spring,
after all, kitty),
to be, before you, each of us born
estranged, tending the closed bud
between strangers so that
it may blossom
it blossoms into.
The great axis of the earth, it
tilts away. Today, the weather
may find us quicker than the words.
In Texas, children pack horses
lunch to take to school. We jumped
& ran to chase another levitating thing
but that was not the correct fire
for our heels. Can I help you find anything
of use? Even if you were more ignorant
than we… we’d’ve little to say to you.
See, the sun’s so bright
who can tell if the coffee’s black?
No one’s looking this way because
you & I’ve got the fear of failure —
it’s in the cataracts. When
did you come to realize that they
are making eye contact when speaking
with you? “Let’s talk about this
over espresso,” was today’s headline.