Tagged: the Bugs

Worm-Like

once I let the machines
repair my body
they power washed my stomach
drilled relief
into my tail
one guy spent the entire time
in my jaw, just scraping
they must have missed some
anxiety, I guess – what I
described to my parents as
a knife above my chest
not stabbing, just hovering there
I’ve got it down to my tummy
I’m trying to push it out
I’ve ejected my appendix
anxiety – what I describe now
as a strange fungus
aboard a ship
oh to cut it loose
watch it drift into the cold
never to return
never to wonder if you love me
to devalue your love so
never to make things wrong
because it’s easier
because I know these things by
prescription, or strand
because I blame them
or make them disappear to
appear changed
it’s still here
it’s in the room with us now
one day I will loose my hair
my eyesight
my home planet
one day there will be a voice
the one who keeps anxiety
at all costs
from reaching my hands
the poles
dowels in every pore
tie the rope you tie
around my wrists
nothing can escape when we 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

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 breathe 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
am I doing the right thing?
where do I place
the needs that could kill me?

Salamander

light, like the cricket that leaves the cave
our minds which consume
and think they have been. our minds

of the palest skin
they are stuck inside
the cave of skull

blind as a salamander – seeing nothing
aware of only what they see

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

How to Release Dead Animals

it is hot and windy. your face
is probably covered in hair
your body out

I am reminded of the animals
I’ve kept, some of which have
died in my care – snails
toads, spiders – clearly dead

(some had been melted
in tupperwares in which
I had also caught a star)
now back into the wild

unable to throw them away
unsure of their use now, as they
no longer moved in my room
unsure of where it was
I had found them

running away, around
this whole time, open
mouth against clear
sloped walls

even the rocks I’ve kept, like
tears hidden up my nose
or in my ears
I’ve wanted to keep forever
my ultimate stubbornness

to be an everything-sized cage
to be your whole world

suddenly my mouth is full
I set the dead on the knape
of the Earth, an armadillo
rooting its vast, known circle
flinching, closing

the dead to skitter off one day
the Earth to have rings
the dead to die again and
again, having lived

again I am unsure about
the size of the world
where the color goes
on captive animals

why they feel different
how they could have died
if I can love something
without having to have it

7-10

I run more when I’m single. I         dig holes in my skin
as if something might pupate         & emerge
I would like to be         more inwardly motivated
so my heart won’t come out black         in a rocky
bed. I’m consumed by         how much
it doesn’t hurt. Does that mean it hurts?

What if Bugs Bunny Were Bugs Instead of a Bunny

I think of replacing myself
with bugs
fumbling over themselves
heaving
grabbing skin, grain
absorbed
or otherwise freed
like other, smaller
bugs. you would like it if
I had been
now that I am
but I wasn’t
a spider hurls its heart
into its legs
blood hits the wall
and goes up it
like a roach. there is no
naturally occurring
instance of me
in the leaf litter
in the rot
I descend carrots
I say what is up. I
tape your heart

Coleoptera

      Entomologists estimate there are nearly
1.5 million different types of beetles
if you double the weight of all beetles
the world would cave in on itself
I love this nature fact – partly because
it sounds so made up, and partly
because I believe it must be true

      Cleopatra wore lipstick made
of crushed ants and beetles
David crushed Goliath with a stone
Since then, the weight of humans
has doubled many times over
we are gathered around a large hole
each awaiting our turn to see

      My parents have just called a meeting
to say just cremate me, no need for all
the fuss, unless it feels important to you
that you have a place to visit
Do we get a hole to see down? 
a box in vain denying the earth
thousands of beetles crowded around
the stags, the rhinocerii, the oxen
Now that would be interesting! No
mom says, and please,
just pour us out anywhere

Apnea

the trees, their leaves dipped like eggs
into cups of dye, the one flaming oak
on Flaming Oak Cove that has not changed
noticeably, but tonight appears more
red than yellow, an act of collective
memory I contain only part of. I contain only
part of what it takes. I take things out of
the forest and lay them flat onto paper, like
these trees, too much on purpose. I
build my web between birds and train
them to fly in unison above tall grasses,
ponds, collecting bugs. but only in poems
only on weak bones perched in your mind
someone saves me each morning. is that you?
or do I save myself? have I somehow timed
the jump back on correctly, all these times
how have I not stayed too long? this
is where I have been for most of my life