Tagged: the Body

Pressing Medicine

what’s the opposite
of a steel trap? a sieve

a mind which filters
– strains to filter –

wrings, dilutes
decocts

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

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

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

Harvey

the cab drivers
pull into gas stations, enticed
by the light of zeros
such brightness
meaning nothing, all out

I pick oil off the water
I pick oil
there is always some left
at the bottom, or
stripped up the sides
fucked and left stranded
like the coast
its beautiful lazy
endless versions

I’m trying, but each time
fucking is like flying – There is
more or you die
there is oil
it makes boats of birds
I flap

What could happen any minute
and the minutes lost
probably off somewhere
the drive up coast
its bolted down furniture
no walls
or else these paper thin ones

tonight I dreamt a jaguar
too hungry to hunt, was drowned
by the heron
lifted away and
eaten someplace quiet
on the rocks

down the hallway
until the heron was stretched full
of hair and bone
holding its gut
sloshed to sleep by the moon
her great blue stomach
the sea

The World is a Joke but Still

short term
photographic
memory loss

your face, infrequent
by his hands
because your body

a poem finds
the bathroom
in the dark

a narrow victory
a game won
of its own making

then ignored, another
game created
before the last has ended

imagine
being made to carry
your winnings

would you ever win?
save it
for the end

the big stuffed air
the face-sized
balloon faces

the world is a joke
& still, he
wants to fuck like

it’s serious
the world is a joke
learning to tell itself

knock knock
himself
at the door

pounding, afraid
being just him
is the secret

a punch line, or
in this case
a name

there was something
great he
was going to say

something important
he thinks
long & hard

before he speaks