Tagged: the Monsters

C.K. Dexter Haven

I was trying to stop
smoking – I read everything
I ran. boxed
worked to exhaustion
tried to appreciate the
unreliable emotions
whatever showed up, I
went with
rage like a bull
through the front door
I let in
rage like a cat
with a bird
with intent to kill
but not before I show you
I’ll show you all
I’ll stop, and plunge
that unsuspected depth
to be part of a story
Pittsburgh, Philadelphia
anywhere but here
where the grooves are
so worn down
they accelerate
I go faster and faster
nowhere, like dying
in books, like the end of
Prince Caspian
or John the Forerunner
whose head came hand-
delivered on a tray
as my salvation
but there goes my appetite
up in smoke
up down the river
beneath the water, where
the sky is wet, heavy crumbs
beneath the desk
like a kid in school
locked in but down
I am no longer high, but
not low either
I threw my time
to the ravenous
and now I see the bone

Slurry

all in my head
is all in my head

I still catch myself
screwing up my eyes

in the mirror, afraid
to connect deeply, even

with myself. I sit
down in mirrored elevators

avoid mirrored people
which are all people

when you give off light
how easy it would be

to have no light at all
how hard I’ve worked to

extinguish that light
but you don’t pour fire

on fire. you don’t kill light
or outrun it

you are it
you are the place where light

converges, swirling into a pool
you are scrying’s purpose

the loose hands
over letters

you are there now. get it?
there is nothing more to

create. it is created
there is only that which

you will destroy
or won’t

Scully

what part of now will be
preserved? The lights over
the river, hovering then taking off
the donkey under the tarp
the constant offering from cats
of mice, lizards, once a
painted bunting, once a snake while
I was masturbating
Once I saw the cat stalking
the ducks – when they see him
they stand up
he saunters off like this
was never his intention
my intention can be unruly
I broadcast in wide gestures
or none at all

Mulder

be careful with the moon
as it is not your ally

your coat beguiles formal
black with green, purple

you dance first
walk with your hips

seem to be most alive
when others can’t see you

so what are you now?
ghost alive

like a cat
overwhelmed enough to bite

then immediately regretful
embarassed, therefore

more likely to bite
it envenomates the feeling

I’m not sure which is which
whether the light

is actually the light
or the lack thereof

Mink Teddy Bear

to exist beyond
the worst
having happened

is not the end
of fear
but a full lap

the kids will
often
bring me things

one brings a mermaid
I take its
temperature

one brings
a transformer
it lights up

another brings
a bear that is so soft
it feels alive

maybe it is alive
we’ll keep
its secret

it hides
in the child’s
arms

slips
behind
her voice

around the breath
beneath
the door

mutating
undulate along
the air

like a virus –
evading its end
by

pretending
it’s
not real

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
make the rope you make
around my wrists
nothing can escape when we go

to my Brother’s Spirit

at first, my courage
was naive
it couldn’t have imagined
so it led with that

now my courage
feels old
no longer looking
no longing for something to happen

like Mom said – I knew
there was something
more interesting about us
and I felt it

now I couldn’t care less
I want to live
as long as we can
in case we were wrong

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, 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

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
feverish kazoo music?
Denis? Denis?

could be just a bug
am I doing the right thing?
where do I place
the needs that could kill me?