Tagged: writing

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

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

Yell Fuck at Canoe Rental

geese scream hate
over a banjo being played
inside a trailer full
of life-jackets

the geese are so angry
they lose themselves
feathers in disarray off them
dropping two at a time

soon there will be
more feathers
on the ground
than on the birds themselves

you could build a new bird
imagine the feathers cleaned
and colored for crafts
kids attaching them

to their shoes, banjo music
lifting them into the sky
where light is adjacent colors
the music plays on speaker

it will never stop
but eventually the geese do
they scream their necks
into collapse, then

disperse, like light
onto the blacktop, squirming
the way light does
the light is the same light

as always. we’ve had it
this whole time. it has been
everything since and will be
everything else

it extends beyond the prism
of our atmosphere. it comes from
a fucking star – how can there
be hate?

it is only the brain making
of light what it will
the brain which has never felt
the feeling of light on its skin

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

Vision at Fallen Home

we took his couch, some
tools – to help
evacuate belongings

we took his cords

the garden too
has been demolished
though hummingbirds return
for the turk’s cap
along the fence

they go from stagnant
to blistering
which feels familiar

one transcendence
to another
a tourist in each

starting to head back
then pulled out
by color, certain
red objects

brilliant against
old footage

a poppy
a war

in many ways I feel
that we knew each other before
we must have done

the way you identified my mouth
like a plant from home

and I know your hands

and I fear so capably
your loss, as if
it has happened

Candida

your heart will hurry
to the places it’s been
a note tied to its leg
what if the quiet place

in your mind vanishes, or
worse, is given to someone else?
for now though, this is us
this is a city

it shows us its spirits
it calls when the grass
is too long, stops calling
when the grass dies off from sun

where the ice cream truck
does circles, donuts
do your ears hang low
and the occasional BOOIIIOIIINNGG

or HEELLOOO?! we lay
in its sound, having just licked
each other, perpetual lawn mower
I guess the gears of the world

dairy for the diligent whackers
and every house, broken in
on champagne, with its windows
smiling through a baby

under expansion, like most things
built to withstand fire
bison, winter, crop
shortages and floods

termites, outages of power
the way things are
underneath, before eventually
there is a die off

a long low moan without
complaint, the REMEMBER ME
of life that has taken hold
bugs in two dimensions

a flattened Earth holding
more of us, all at once
if she is trying to say something
we wouldn’t know

she is collapsed upon. so
we move forward
in the old way
in which you’re only allowed

to replace yourself

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

SWAT

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

there’s a resiny
imprint of me
on my mattress, laid 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 shower before I sleep

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 to shore