Tagged: the Self

I Know, I Know

We are born. We are immediately
placed in the queue
of another birth. As infants

we gape like fish being moved
between containers. Latex lining the
hands – eating – understanding words
We are passed through membranes

Catching an animal for the first time is birth
Feeling the largeness of body, the crush
of loving hands. The imposition of self
on something’s insides, seeing them

Administering touch is birth
Each time done with a little more intention
More and more the membranes of latex
Driving home at night because of school

Remember we rationed the air?
Gaping like fish with the windows down
a larger membrane of screamable music
playing. Past that

the darkness, merging like bubbles
the coming to pass that nobody cares
That was a birth for me, when I realized
nobody cares. That the soul

is a giant child
holding the body. Loving the world
I think truly loving it, but crushing it
Taking it out of its home

Instead

it’s an endless track of ocean
trying to get over the mind
you have gained admission to try
without being so critical
you have gained admission to try
without being so critical
you have gained admission to try
without being so critical
but really, you are thinking about the thing
you told the supermarket lady
about your resolutions
you said you hope to get out more
she said you should go to China
China is playing air guitar
China is realizing how long
you’ve been playing air guitar
and for what kind of crowds
when are you seen
past the tide of each tiny space?
are you stuck there, on your island
of pattern? with its corn fields
its snake colors
imagine the island beneath your feet
imagine it quickly
                                  before it goes

18 Ailments

Last to go of godlihood
is guilt
I still feel guilty
about the things I do
The lies I feed with tubes
Right now I feel sick
that I have not yet
called my grandmother
even though she recently
sent me money
for a suit. I was sensible
getting one appropriate
for weddings
as well as funerals
A sort of charcoal rubbing
There are other offenses
The provocation of anger
to prevent boredom
The minutes I store away
like bodies, to keep
from returning. I’ve been told
I’m way too intense
That I borrow bags
like golf bags, body bags
and don’t return them
          An actual PGA pro
once gave me his golf bag
and told me to cover his name
with tape. So I did, and
felt with every swing
his presence, like
I had to honor the clubs
somehow, hit the ball true
I have never been true
Here and there
I’d get one right, watch
as the ball became smaller
against the sky, like
a thumbtack being placed
Mostly I was shit
thwacking balls
into water hazards, sand traps
adjacent holes
where golfers posed beautifully
in their games
like lilies
against grassy embalments
admiring

Lithography

thoughts are the dust
of old ceilings, somebody
else’s floor

I remember coach Aker
calling me soccer queer
Running 7 miles
while the football players
watched tapes of themselves

I’d go back to class all
sweaty, or wet from rain
I’d wonder about the girls
I’d think of them in a way
that was like
drawing scientifically

Looking back now
is like seeing an early drawing
of an animal. The octopus
with vertical pupils
a heavily-armed rhinoceros

that up-close flea
Is what I think I am
supposed to be?

Watch Party

I got the name
of a character wrong
And when I reach
my hand for another
hand there is often
another drink
one I must pretend
I didn’t see
Friendship to me
is nothing more
than the accumulation
of people, a rough
telepathy of sand
being told apart
from other sand
I wish I wasn’t me
I’ve locked myself
in a sculpture artist’s
room of drafts. This
is how I go
holding out my ego
looking at it