Tagged: poem

Missy

Our girl hears Missy Elliot
on the radio, 95.9 – The Throwbacks
She knows all the words the way
you don’t really, just play the sounds
so when she enunciates GO DOWNTOWN
EAT IT LIKE A VULT-CHA we laugh
She knows that part, of course, but
then again she does know vultures
She jumps off the couch and soars
like a vulture. She dries her hair over
her face like a vulture does its wings
She puts her hands up against the light
– a shadow puppet vulture
She is black and furthest away
She sees vultures and takes binoculars
but can’t find them
The light is too bright

After Choking You in My Sleep

the dead must be hungry
the way they present themselves
to me – half a hand out
hollow legs

shrinking then wrapping
the corners as if embarrassed
I would be too

all that work to be dead
and still begging
not that I’m any safer here

stairs are one of the most
haunted places on Earth. I
could be sitting in a portal, or in the body

of something larger
someone’s work or unrequited love
a prison, the defense
of a choke-point

whatever it is, I feel its interest
it shakes my insides as if
listening for seed

it lands on me when
I’m not careful
forms to vacancies like
an owl to the tree

like your voice to my ear
when I’m sure you’re lying
or is it, when I’m sure
I would have lied

is it me? I am poltergeist
through misplaced energy
dreams of fame turned
malevolent humility

inside lurks
the big black mass
of ever losing you, especially
to me

Activity

I am writing again, which
feels like the wrong thing
behind me
there are thousands of figures

symbols for lost time
like a chair is not its word
“chair” a person
is not his name

nor is he what he leaves
behind
he is not named
“gunk in corners”

though he resides there
with no need for sitting, writing
now he sinks
where chairs were

leaving behind residue
like ink
on the paper
at night

Return

if you ask me to tell you
the code, I can’t do it
I need it in my hands

like your hands
which I feel and
remember with confidence

remember the world
as it was? a root
protruding from the rock

that you perched on
that lead your heart
into touch out of darkness

improbably to me
the mud where
you fell as a bird

I preserved you
curled myself beneath
your weight and

proudly display
your feathers
and was adorned by you

now we meet again
there’s a bird
in the roof of your mouth

and it’s like we died
enough times
holding the right ally

the ally holding
something of ours
in return

Pesticide 2

ants grow their fungus
in my ears
confuse my eyes with pools

they touch me, expand
get used to me
not moving

I try to see their whole bodies
in a way I’ve never seen
my whole body

but can feel it

I am up top, pressed
against glass
I am standing too close

to the moon
It goes down my body
to the planet

I try to see its whole body
in a way I have never seen
my whole body

but can feel it

Battery Effect

tonight it has been red

then yellow, then luminous white
I think coral, copper, cotton, rattle

at one point it was below the water
before that it had never left

now it’s here, and I know instantly
that I know something, just not what

maybe I feel the moon’s knowing, or I
heard something, the stars

discussing the moon’s politics on the Earth
children in their adult poses

doing mounted police, doing plumbing
doing queen and king

they do bullhead, water-bearer
they don’t play the root, as you have

or me, the stone with a root in it
we are fixed to the hood of the Earth

the sun does a firm bounce off the moon
it goes down a corridor before

coming back, unlocking the next
entrance, and the next, perhaps everything

a baby gate opens, the milky way opens
we are ferried to our rooms in secret

swept in by birds, to be checked on
later, though they know we will be gone

in their wisdom they can see themselves coming
as I have seen myself coming, and you

our mouths open to the same phase
your blood a belt of red, the candles yellow

my reach a luminous white

Vision at Fallen Home

we took his couch, some
tools – to help
evacuate belongings

the garden too
has been demolished
though hummingbirds return
for the turk’s cap
along the fence

they go from stagnant
to blistering
which feels familiar

one transcendence
to another
a tourist in each

starting to head back
then pulled out
by color, certain
red objects

brilliant against
old footage

a poppy
a war

in many ways I feel
that we knew each other before
we must have done

the way you identified my mouth
like a plant from home

and I know your hands

and I fear so capably
your loss, as if
it has happened

Candida

your heart will hurry
to the places it’s been
a note tied to its leg
what if the quiet place

in your mind vanishes, or
worse, is given to someone else?
for now though, this is us
this is a city

it shows us its spirits
it calls when the grass
is too long, stops calling
when the grass dies off from sun

where the ice cream truck
does circles, donuts
do your ears hang low
and the occasional BOOIIIOIIINNGG

or HEELLOOO?! we lay
in its sound, having just licked
each other, perpetual lawn mower
I guess the gears of the world

dairy for the diligent whackers
and every house, broken in
on champagne, with its windows
smiling through a baby

under expansion, like most things
built to withstand fire
bison, winter, crop
shortages and floods

termites, outages of power
the way things are
underneath, before eventually
there is a die off

a long low moan without
complaint, the REMEMBER ME
of life that has taken hold
bugs in two dimensions

a flattened Earth holding
more of us, all at once
if she is trying to say something
we wouldn’t know

she is collapsed upon. so
we move forward
in the old way
in which you’re only allowed

to replace yourself

Thirty

I was standing in line with you
when I passed out, fainted
I guess, and woke up
on the floor

I remember feeling
guilty, like I had overslept
and how different
you looked

appearing over me, like
a god, or its mother
perfect
and impatient

my elbow hurts – I realize
I must have fallen on it
you say I may have fallen forward
if it hadn’t been for you

how lucky – I am grateful
– I am weak – I am
let down gently – I am
long to see

the security footage
in which your reaction
plays out like a silent film
in which

the faces of the embarassed
become everyone, black
and white, at each moment
assigned a time

SWAT

woke up drenched again, not
dreams, not raining
who knows

there’s a resiny
imprint of me
on my mattress, laid over
countless others
like days

I go through what I ate & when
the withdrawal symptoms of
things like caffeine
pot, what I’m wearing
sleep positions, if
I jump in water before I sleep

maybe my mattress is a valley
my blankets roads
I overheat, sweat
become cold, pull them up

to wake unsure
where the water came from
if it’s water at all, or
just salt

if while sleeping, I’ve
been swimming, and
barely made it back to shore