Tag: poetry

The Pocket of Another Man

Gather your courage and
deposit yourself into
the pocket of another man.
In that pocket, storms
rage, empires rise and fall,
and humanity balances
on the head of a pin, afraid
to dance, afraid of not dancing
and so exists in between worlds,
both incomplete, both paralyzed.

In the pocket of the first man,
there’s nothing remarkable.
The grass, you may be assured,
was most certainly greener, and
you will live what they call your
“best life” as long as that life
includes emotional black-outs
and the loss of what might be called
“hope” by lesser people…but don’t
worry about them… you’re right
where you should be, darling.

My Pretty Girl

My pretty girl, don’t you see the flooded gully?
It’s the only landmark you need when navigating
this still-born world, desperately short of pearls
but overflowing with worthless rocks and stones.
I am underground, but you can find me if you listen.
Forget the blurry sky and their hasty words—
we can commune with shadows and blind eyes
and the endless drops of rain that fall from my
impossible mouth, an unlikely but necessary language.

The Tale of a Grandson

His grandmother poured salt into
his eyes and shipped him of to St. Alphonso’s
Home for Boys Blinded by Their Grandmothers
and there he flourished, rising to the
top of his class and deciding to stay
even after graduating, and so he never
knew the world, and the world was poorer for it.

Yesterday’s Spider

I worry about the smallest of things
like the wound yesterday’s spider
incurred when it tumbled to the ground
and bent its leg backward and let out a tiny
spider moan that I somehow heard and knelt on
the floor and whispered, “I am so sorry
that happened, the world is a terrible place.”

Eating In

I decided that an apron
wouldn’t do as I entered
the kitchen, so I wore your
recently-shed skin instead.
It didn’t really fit, but I
didn’t complain, and look,
what a nice soufflé I made!
Your new skin itched, but you
remained silent as a stone.
And so we ate, avoiding each
other’s gaze, as darkness fell.

An Evening with Mr. and Mrs. Kurtz

“Break some glass and come on in, there’s
there’s plenty more to break here!” Mrs. Kurtz
said and cut a bloody pirouette across the foamy
carpet made glorious summer by this son

of a York Peppermint Patty–Mr. Kurtz–strutting
like the cock of the walk around the shards of glass,
carrying on some counterpoint to her nonsense,
he being vaguely aware of how silly they both were.

Guiltily, we grabbed some drinking glasses and
shattered them against the fireplace, the sound
reverberating and spreading like panic in a crowd,
and we sobbed without knowing why except our

hosts were crying, also, showing us their bleeding
hands and feet, Mr. Kurtz wounded even in his side,
and we decided that we could worship them–they
would do nicely as deities, since all others had failed us.

Love/Hate

Love/Hate

“How can you hate what I love?” she asked
draped over the sofa, ellipses stuck in her throat…

“Because I hate everything,” he answered
and deposited a lifetime of trust in an off-shore
account that the instantly forgot existed.

She thought about his words, and then she
thought about her relationship to the words,
so she took a powder and disappeared somewhere

up north, and he collected fall-out shelters
and moved among them like a wanted man.

Benefit for the Self-Obsessed

I absorbed the style of your night,
your courage like a good-sized cocker
spaniel, crouched and hackles raised,
ready to protect you at a moment’s notice.

But you don’t need protecting, do you,
with your prodigious smile and thick
intentions, hogging all the finger sandwiches
at the Banquet of Forlorn and Spurned Lovers?

My, how you haven’t grown, remarked
the 135-year old woman, frail and blue.
It was true enough, though you rejected
her words like you rejected me year ago.

You moved with the the speed of paper
cut, small but fast, redolent with outsized
pain while the rest of us redrew our maps,
marking off the places deemed too dangerous.

A Blue Affair

It was such a blue affair,
irrelevant, really…or

irrelephant, you said as
you traipsed off into the wild

green of the surrounding hills
and called to those mighty

bastions of memory and deep
sadness, keepers of burial

grounds which sprout stones
like pale, strong flowers, like tusks,

like the very bones of redemption…
or so you said, one unforgivable

morning when nothing was right
with the world but you still loved me.

Advice to Myself at the Onset of a Panic Attack

Try breathing on the moon–
it’s been known to cause death
which will stop a panic attack.
If you don’t want something that
extreme, there’s always lopping
off a hand or a finger–focusing on
the pain will at least shift the panic
to something more real, not the fake
crises you’re always yammering on
about: the fate of the Neanderthals,
what to make for dinner, the price
of a restaurant meal, your place in
the vast, unfeeling, cold cosmos.
Okay, the last one makes sense,
but the rest are just fucking bonkers.