Tagged: the Monsters

Summer 20-22

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

continuous 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?

Nietzsche’s Sister’s Cat

I wonder if the dog, while
holding its mouth open for the cat
ever has thoughts 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, but only after
it has never happened

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

After Choking You in My Sleep

the dead must be hungry
the way they present themselves
to me – hat in hand
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

the agent contains it
all this stuck energy
all these dreams of fame
turned malevolent humility

power, rage, depravity
it keeps us down
long after
we have died

inside lurks
the cold black mass
of ever losing you
especially to me

SWAT

woke up drenched again, not
dreams, not raining
who knows

there’s a resiny
imprint of me
on my mattress, myself laid
down over countless
others, like days

I go through what I ate, when
the withdrawal symptoms of
things like caffeine
pot, what I’m wearing
sleep positions, if
I should have showered

maybe my mattress is a valley
my blankets roads
I overheat, sweat
become cold, pull them up

to wake unsure
where the water came from
if it’s water at all, or
just salt

if while sleeping, I’ve
been swimming, and
barely made it back

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.

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
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
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
an approachable temperature
a star just being friendly
holding it
lighting their eyes
but stars are forever away
maybe they have died already

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 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
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

After Seeing My Ex // on Tinder

swiping left in child’s pose
as if i didn’t do it

as if to say
no, let me help you

a phone covered in milk
i jumped in a new life

and forgot it
i couldn’t find happiness

when it was in my hand
i couldn’t leave the house

//

i think of you alone there
with my choices

repeating themselves
like children

white cells
the haunt of bodies

moving you from room
to room, where once

we passed through 
inside each other

walked through hallways
of pictures of organs

murmurs following
us with eyes, and we felt

alive, if for a moment
before

the moment
had always been there