Friday, January 29, 2016

YOU KNOW THIS ONE

Me and Myself
have been dating
forever.

Me and Myself
definitely
could talk more.

Me
and Myself
used to be reality show roommates
on a show
that never aired.

People say—
Me
and
Myself are rarely seen together in public.

But they're crazy.

Me and My-
self are really in-sync
as ballroom dance partners
and super on-task as business co-owners;

and yet, admittedly
still lousy
at living together.

E.g.—Myself
is always forgetting
to pick Me up
from places (Myself is a liar. He goes to church still sometimes

instead of the gym
on Sunday mornings
and doesn't leave right after communion
like he promises).

And while Me and Myself still eat the same dinner,
its never
the same amount, and almost-never
at the same time
as each other anymore.

Me and Myself are admirably compatible
vacation-planners though.
Although, rarely so much—
as vacation-going goes.

See, Myself—doesn't really like
surfing or swimming or volleyball
or beaches at all,
or anything that happens there,
like luaus,
or barbecues,
or sunsets,
or the gritty uncomfortable ways
we imagine some uncouth
people like to fuck on their shores.

Me
is into that stuff. He likes
80's movies and kite flying and running fast.
He likes heights, and he doesn't mind jumping from them.

Myself
is funny, but only in-private, "once you
get to know him;" he's interested in the fonts people use,
and quoting movies more than watching them,
and playing video games he already knows how to beat.

It's routine for him, but other people "just don't know
how he does it!" Which is one of the only things, as Me knows
all too well, that brings Myself any real satisfaction these days.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

PYRRHIC VICTORY

Clenching and unclenching my teeth
and gloved fists—to purposely
hijack

my own fight or flight response—in order
to keep warm as I
walk

obstinately homeward, repeating: If only—
I knew more.
If only—

I could learn the trick. I would flap my down
jacket. And turn myself into
a book.

Instead of going on like this. I could then,
quite literally—forever
live

on—in the best parts (the fine plastic minds,
wet furtive hearts, and brown bruises
of voices)

of so many lovely future generations
of women and men
of my

callow species. But—at what terrible cost
comes that thought? It's currency
better spent

feeding some mouths somewhere, or at least,
fixing those snow-hungry holes
in my street.

Speaking of which, I think I just
walked—right past
my own house.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

UNFINISHED (AFTER BRET)

In a dream you started to tell me about
without the slightest hesitation;
I was someplace nondescript,
drinking stout beer and laughing—

flanked by acquaintances
and lit by warm mirth, despite 
the dank surroundings—when you 
walked in and found me. From there, 

I imagine I nodded and waved from the corner,
still laughing with those others—and maybe,
you just motioned back from the door
and smiled, and left. Because it was 

far better, in that moment
for each of us—to reinvent the other 
as contented, and simply to leave it at that
than to spill our mouths open

and dispel—
any doubt.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

ROOMY

Closing my eyes so perfectly
tight in the afterglow 

at your very last 
birthday party, I distinctly

remember picturing—how terrible
a huge mouthful 

of dry convenience
store sheet cake would taste; and then,

how unspeakably
meaningless and tiny—these

celebrations 
should look without one.

Monday, January 25, 2016

POEM WITH FOUR MINUTES LEFT

What is it?
You really want

to tell them—something
they don't

already know, or just

any
little

thing
at all?—with extra-

ordinary space around it.


Friday, January 22, 2016

WHEN IT CAME TO MAKING DECISIONS

His mind was too often like the craggy fortress
of a tree, across the street

from the dismal heap of aluminum
and wood where he woke

and from which he would quickly make forth
in a daze each gauzy morning—

barren, and ragged with the twice-frozen January cold, yet
still extremely full

with countless itinerant chirping little scissors of birds,
each clamped, so scrawny tight,

and yet—so obstinate as to impose upon
the fierce knotty preponderance

of just oneor two, or perhaps three
at the very most,

of its—two or three dozen-fold
cache of worthy limbs.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

SECOND OR THIRD DRAFT

Okay, so maybe, I vow—to never stop holding close 
to what's most difficult. I know that it's
practice for love.

In order not just to better serve, but to better
save the whole world! from its own 
prejudice—that of so many

self-similar seeming situations repeating—I guess I'll keep
ceaseless protecting in myself
the desire for solitude.

Against the tyranny of crowds, I suppose I'll work 
tirelessly, to actually keep that feeling 
of intense loneliness—

that hard little calcified cave which surrounds me—
always fortified, guarded, dark; but 
also sung, personal,

safe and warm, and very neatly carved-out—
a private place in which to be alone
and remain so-

interred forever. Yes. For I know (I know, I know, I know): 
the more patient and slower I am willing to be, here
in this selfish endeavor,

the more, and the faster—I'll grow to deserve my future
among others, and
with her.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

GIZA

Beware, impetuous young authors: 
for writing is—
quite a bit less like freeing them 

than it is 
like—entombing  
those huge thoughts you're having

inside the solitary, 
cramped but enduring
pit of your memory. True,

you can always exhume
any words 
you've interred there,

but—you can never 
completely fill all the holes
left by those 

backspaces; 
you can never 
fully expect to undo—your having 

willfully planted
those now-arcane keys 
in the first place.

There, in stinging perpetuity 
they'll remain. The dilapidated
and half-hidden

ruins of a particular 
mortal life—that is no longer yours,
and maybe never was,

but now and 
forever always must 
continue to stand,

an emblazoned
monument to—almost 
having been.

Monday, January 18, 2016

LEARNING TO LIKE BANANAS

I declare,
I'll be the one to do it—I hereby
volunteer

to keep
tasting the slimy side of life
over and

over and over
again, each time that I
eat.

Not that I might
grow to like it more than I did before;
only, somehow,

each time—
that I might taste it better, more
simply,

and more slowly
than I did the last time. And not in order
to learn

some new
and better form of satiety, but rather
that I might be able

to better describe—
the texture, the mouthfeel
of humility

evinced by such supple
mushy things which, having never themselves
felt particularly lusty to grow

nor willfully
desperate to ripen, have thereby
patiently remained,

all of them, precious
and golden individual children;
while simultaneously

each of them,
managing, by sheer coincidence—to father
countless millions.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

CASCADES

Go ahead and
laugh at this,

laugh at this,
laugh your head off—I want you to;

for your laughter is
light,

and it illumines 
the path

we shall 
ride—to our 

mutual freedom.

Friday, January 15, 2016

SILLY SYMPHONY NO. 1

Behold!—at last, we've become
nothing short of
completely astounding
bands of nightly-performing skeleton ghosts!
Once we were
bored, boring, mortal,
annoyingly hungry, unfathomably
tired, like you were. Then we got tar-
black from caking
our gross earthly skin and oily hair in napalm,
bathing in alkali, and setting
the whole situation on fire.

And now—shucks, we're so much
lighter, quicker, and far superior
entertainers! Again
and again and again
and again, away we go in time! Dancing
to the tune
of spooky carnival music, and raking
our dry bones
over those hot fat coals
that formed
in the places where our melting flesh landed.

And we happen to think
that it makes
a pretty good routine—except,

well, now we've got nothing else to do
but keep putting on
show
after show
after show after show,
usually just for the rest of the crew—who,
thing is,
don't seem too inspired by the whole fuss,
probably
because they're equally disinterested,
seeing as
they're just as unimpressive-
ly dead.

HERE COMES THE AIRPLANE!

The only
really significant
thing was,

the quicker 
and deeper—
the green little pit 

of his stomach
seemed to sink,
the smaller

and farther
away—her big
words got.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

SEARCH RESULTS FOR "WHOLE FOODS MARKET, CONCORD MASSACHUSETTS"

Diving with haste 
to the great cavity's 
bottom—to pluck forth the coldest 

and ruddiest fish, 
the blessed gift of whose girth 
my current conditions could afford;

I suddenly, 
unexpectedly, 
touched my cold nose against Thoreau's—

to be 
so focused,
so clear, all of a piece
in the moment—and yet, so incomparably

vast, nameless
undefinable, and 
always abiding; a mad god, 
dashing heedless, outside of time 
and on the loose—in Emerson's private woods.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

CONDUIT

In the very last moment
before his placid and equitable death,

as he dutifully stooped, crookbacked,
and silverheaded, to set

the delicate brass trayful of small dishes
back on the table,

finally allowing
his old eyes to rest

upon the smooth and familiar shadow
now blooming,

ink black—from each of the four slowly dissolving
corners of the hall;

it suddenly struck the old butler
rather cordially

that these demure little pyramids
of exquisite fish eggs—

which his master had often
requested for a light breakfast—

would all have amounted to
not less than

a great graceless
and ponderous mess—had it not been

for those hard thin and
piddly little

crusts of
cheap bread—he slapped it on.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A LETTER TO THE DELIVERY SERVICE

Oh, Mercury! clad always tall in the uniform
crinkled dust jacket of your industry, which runs
from your cloudy cap
down the long length of your rough paper
back, to the tops of your rubble stone road-
building lumps of black shoes—

protect us thieving sinners
and conniving hitch-
hikers and poor almanac writers;
all of us, so tired, and so haunted
by the very things we have spurned—
hear us, and give us some shelter
and some time, to heal and to listen, or
to just enjoy the silence, and to learn.

But above all, please continue to deliver,
without judgement,
each of our letters—not just
the "love" kind, but the angry
and inarticulate and wrongheaded
and disgusting ones—all mercifully
left unopened, without so much
as a touch
of morality or concern
stamped upon the face of
their lonely white envelopes, because
it is only the warm movement
of exchange which you treasure, and not
the weight of the message,
or the cold commerce of the terms.

In short, please show your indentured
league of bedraggled authors some mercy
by always remaining—
neither humble, nor ambitious;
but rather, that much less celebrated mode
of being
which underscores them both:
forever shameless, divinely unconcerned.

Or, since you're in a hurry,
here are terms
still-plainer: for Christsakes, Hermes, old buddy—don't be a God!
Just be a messenger.

Monday, January 11, 2016

ORLANDO

Relentless—
the starving

and small
sober morning

eye—of the
grimly white

crane
keeps on combing

the fat lazy fringe
of this

man-
made lagoon.