Tagged: poet

When You Travel by Balloon

I worry you will learn something
that takes you away
a balloon you forget
to let go of
or choose not to

I will grab a balloon
and follow, though
in the sky
the wind swirls
without channel

no bones to block it
no blood
maybe they will put
all the reds together
maybe it has to do with the air

it is exhausting trying to plan
my plans, I fear, are me
choice animating thought
a quarter machine
who grabbed me? do I have control

over where I am? is
control like a thought
should I let it go? is it the same?
I swim through the air
in my best clothing

careful to match the color of sky
but it’s different when you’re in it
it’s obvious
it ruins it

don’t go
don’t look at me
don’t go

Playing Dead

for a possum to play dead effectively
it can’t look too good
evolutionary priority is given
to the ugly – the mottled fur
the hairless face like carrion
the chitinous tail, the smell

if a possum chooses another
she will do so for its longevity
its eligibility based on ugliness
therefore beauty
the young are carried on the stomach

tight against fat hanging
towards the ground, dragging
through ticks and the litter
disgusting, undesirable
reliable

no one comes for the possum
not the hungry, nor the thirsty
the possum does not pretend
to be alive – it is therefore safe
it is ready to drop dead
at any moment

a long, upturned smile
the secret – to live precisely
when you must

Nebulizer

my breath comes running up, alarmed
holding bags

my breath is sinched at the waist
my breath

is afraid to put it all the way in
my breath is unsure of the door

it rolls up a towel to
block the light

it knows footprints by weight
my breath escapes through

the window, and though it lives in me
it looks like a robber

feels like a robber, like
it has something of mine in its pockets

in this way my breath cares about
what others think

other’s thoughts hurt. other’s
thoughts can be controlled

my breath controls them
oxygen – a bundle of stones in the arms

of my breathing, a breathy voice, a
circulatory mind

my breathing is pot without
a drain hole

my breathing is root rot
my breath continues, though I

miss a few here and there
they fly over my head or

over my shoulder. it is a joke, or
salt, my breath, which today

feels like someone else’s. it is not enough
or maybe, it is too much my own

Summer 2020

I feel strongly that
I haven’t done enough

is that today?
always?

humanity beats down
without context

the sun is so hot
it is winter, effectively

a stay-at-home order
a vivid and continunous

temperature
contemptuous integers

I could go back and forth
but I’ve let the dog run

I’ve taken off my shirt
in the early hours

survived a little longer
which is enough

though I know it isn’t
we’ve survived long enough

to know that it isn’t, or
survived past it, or

consumed it
in an act of survival

what a strange threat this is
when those threatened

need more than just their lives
when the monster eats

frivolity, and I reek of it
when our spirits

sneak out at night to touch
our bodies too hot to hold

Yell Fuck at Canoe Rental

geese scream hate
over a banjo being played
inside a trailer full
of life-jackets

the geese are so angry
they lose themselves
feathers in disarray off them
dropping two at a time

soon there will be
more feathers
on the ground
than on the birds themselves

you could build a new bird
imagine the feathers cleaned
and colored for crafts
kids attaching them

to their shoes, banjo music
lifting them into the sky
where light is adjacent colors
the music plays on speaker

it will never stop
but eventually the geese do
they scream their necks
into collapse, then

disperse, like light
onto the blacktop, squirming
the way light does
the light is the same light

as always. we’ve had it
this whole time. it has been
everything since and will be
everything else

it extends beyond the prism
of our atmosphere. it comes from
a fucking star – how can there
be hate?

it is only the brain making
of light what it will
the brain which has never felt
the feeling of light on its skin

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

Orion

If you lay in snow
and I lay in snow
even with the same moon
as headboard, the electricity
wouldn’t travel, the water
too densely packed
I feel that way today
both in our underwear
separately, in the city
you walking from Planned Parenthood
to yoga, me having worn
the wrong clothes to work
now bathing in the spillway
we have no gas for water
we named a cat Fuel
each man presents
his best self, the
6-month awoken blood stem
you unlock something in me, he says
it was not there before
you make me want to be a better man
a star falls on the roof
of the Whole Foods
by definition not that great
of a star, but close
men burn their tongues
try to recall
what they were doing before
just to have you say it
have you pull it out
the long steel draw
approachable temperature
a star just being friendly
holding it
lighting their eyes
but stars are forever away
maybe they have already died