Tagged: poetry

Fear of Dying

I beg the stars to move –
that is, to have died already
I’m still uncertain of their distance
now more than ever

what would happen if I ate one?
would it kill me? if I sleep
facing the sky, will it touch me?
if I get bit, will I die?

I am unsure about so much
what does a virus want?
which is the universe
and which is the galaxy?

is it cicadas, or static on
spirit headlamps, or
Denis Johnson’s feverish
kazoo music

could be just a bug. do I sweat?
or revolt like a spring?
am I trying to keep a rock down
in a spring?

Nietzsche’s Sister’s Cat

I wonder if the dog, while
holding its mouth open for the cat
has ever thought of crushing it
flash images

like a photo continues
outside its frame, does the dog
see itself continue?
does the cat suspect?

suspect is a strong word
surely the dog is not to blame for
seeing. is seeing thinking?
neither one is doing

until it is done. so the cat is cautious
the dog inviting – its neck
thicker than its head
the skull in plates

built for this relief – sure
the cat will trust the dog one day
only after
it has never happened

Yell Fuck at Canoe Rental

white birds 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

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

you could build a new bird
I 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
blacktop, squirming
the light is the same light
as always

we have 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

Pressing Medicine

I do one, maybe
two things wrong &

I can’t function – my
stomach is the rag

my ribs are the glass jar
inside awash with medicine

how much does it take
to twist like that?

what do you do with
the rest?

black in the dark, black
red in the light

it is left
in the margin, discarded

white space that
oblierates, white winter

that proliferates
how can it be so many

when it is also each one?

Why Don’t You Say My Name as Much Anymore

my parents would say Terri – I mean your mother
or David – I mean your father

as if I wouldn’t know who they meant. Or like
they were each hiding some Terris or Davids

we weren’t supposed to know about. I never really
suspected, but I would listen sometimes

put a cup to the wall in my closet
that connected to their bathroom

I’d listen to my mother and father spending time
with Terri and David – coordinating spits

in their sinks – starting the shower for the other –
flushing the toilet. sometimes I’d hear the long lighter

snapping its fingers at the candle. sometimes
I’d hear the tub water. they’d say their lover’s name

– serious business in the house that holds
their children. they must have been in on it together

sometimes I’d fall asleep in the closet listening
my nicer pants and things hanging close to my face

curled up against bags with my name
adorned on them, a clear cup along the carpet

Clay Mask

I cover my skin in earth, as if
my skin is not earth
as if little mounds don’t grow from both

both are like space to bugs
or looks

why don’t you respond to me sometimes?
you’ll just sit there, staring, as if
there isn’t a buzzing
you need to cover

as if you won’t fill with ocean
if you stop moving
stop picking at yourself constantly
stop picking yourself

there is fire in your chart, without which
there can be no stone, no earth
yet I am all earth, no fire
I must have come from somewhere

another layer perhaps, deeper than skin
where I generate my own heat
my own light
like a vent that warms the sea

A Love Letter

it feels like a good time…
candles already lit, so
no presumptuous
candle lighting

some of the hourglass
sand is stuck. I wonder if
this like time, then
throw up my mouth a little

but what place other than
a letter to talk about time?
or sand? or being stuck? plus
I am concerned about my hourglass

it’s meant to be 30 minutes
but with sand stuck to the glass
is it quite? how much
time am I getting?

is it the same sand each time?
or does new time replace it?
it’s hard to tell – I flip it
just to see you buried

the Angel of Forgetfulness
blesses me. The Angel of White
Dimples
rebuilds herself

whole temples in her honor
could this be the time
when all of the sand
falls through? and

Forgetfulness retrieves
her blanket?
will I remember having
said yes to this, this life

and potentially others?
what did I see up there
that meant
enduring a human body

was it your body? It could
have been your body
was it something that needed
to be done?

have I done it?
can I keep doing it? is there any
question but the one I have already
answered yes to…

…is this a good time? 

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
through 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