In that time, I got fat again. This happened because I stopped running. I stopped running because I was falling out of love and didn’t want to think about it.
I was asked to read at a poetry reading in November, but they had second thoughts about it. When I got there they told me that I am a little self refrencing and immature. They wanted me to watch these tendencies as I read. I wanted to punch one of them in the face.
All of this made me think of my poetry. I am self refrencing. But I think that this plays into my belief about poetry and community. Poets originally worked for their community. They told news stories, stories of great battles, stories of noble marraiges. When the printing press came along, news no longer had to be carried by minstrels and poets.
When I do a reading, it is mostly local, and mostly populated by people I know. They enjoy hearing these poems. Also, I am not always the I character in these poems. I like to use the I because it feels immediate.
Anyhow, Bah on them. I am a good poet. Bastards.
*** This is post no. 1 in a series of photo’s taken from my life and poems written about them. Some poems will be true, some fictitious. Which are which? I’ll never tell ***
On the perfection in small mistakes
Slide the tomato under
the water’s stream, turn off
the faucet, expose the tiny cities
of round, clustered seeds in caves
inside. The directions flow
thru her hear, the sun reaches
for her. She grips the green knife handle,
smelling the spicy rice, she turns down
the burner, and curses herself for prepping
the vegetables too early, severing
the corn kernels from a cob.
To get out, she has to go thru a tunnel.
Down, down, down. So many stairs,
tan walls crowding her movements.
Out the door, she will escape. In daylight,
nameless children rule the street. The street,
one side lined with cars, cracked sidewalks,
unhygenic grit, trash, and food wrappers,
and cat shit, and trash. The children are there,
their mothers are not. The children play on the sidewalks,
crossing the street. They stop her to ask if her dog
bites. Occasionally there are adults on the street;
they fight. The houses and apartments line
the street like teeth. There is a park, open,
grassy, unfenced, at the end of the street.
The children never make it there. They stay
in the dirt, they pick up the trash and throw it
against the cars, against the buildings. The city
is endless, but this fanged block is theirs.
Whenever I play pool in a crowded bar,
I think of Donald in Mathmatics Land,
and its candy colored characters. I try to see
the dotted lines, the right angles.
They obviously come naturally
to you, a red striped ball tips
into a side pocket; the one
with a yellow stripe falls into a corner.
I have to laugh at the way you try
to encourage me. The green felt is dotted
with green, blue, solid spots. I’m drunk
and leaning against the table as I try to align
the blue tipped cue to the white dot.
The motion on the table blends ball
into ball, solid matter turning into sound
and color. Those right angles, Donald Duck’s
scratchy voice. You thought I could do it,
and I love to try when I know I will fail.
Meet me beneath the meteor streaked sky
tonight. Years ago, you asked to stay here,
and now I want to change my answer. I went
to a bar the other day and ordered a vodka tonic,
it should have been a gin. At least it wasn’t the worst
mistake I ever made. Tonight, I’m alone. I want
to correct all of my bad choices. My worst
choice was made on a day so hot. Meet me
tonight beneath this perseid sky, meet me.
I know. I know you will not come. I know it
the same way I know how the sky will glow tonight.
I know that thin sparkling ribbons will unravel themselves
against this black velvet curtain. I know from experience.
I will wait for you, though. I will sit in the park
at the end of my street. I will sit until 1 o’clock, 2 o’clock, 3.
This waiting is an act of love, an act of nature like any other.
Don’t think that this is an act of stupidity. I know
when I am not loved, but this is an act
of something else. Something more extraordinary than love. I will only call to you once more.
She has never been accustomed
to weapons, to blood, but one day,
she gets the notion to sever your head
and crack open the thin bones of your skull.
She wants to scape your brains out with a dull
wooden spoon, to fry them, and feed them
to someone unsuspecting. Placed in a chili,
perhaps vegans would mistake them
for filler. She chooses a short, serrated
kitchen knife. She waits by the door.
I spend my days with people who cannot connect object to word,
word to feeling, feeling to person. Perhaps some if this seeps into me,
perhaps I’ll next be called to mime. What is the motion
for fear – is it crouching, arms braced in front of me, mouth agape?
Is it approaching a large girl with long, knotted hair and then running, silently
screaming? Is it waiting silently beside a silent phone?
My words no longer reach out to anyone. Once they were my outreached hand
that you held. Once, they were a cacoon I wintered in; once, they were my scream.
The mime pulls the rope, back leaning, legs straining, her actions
are convincing, but we are no longer fooled. Did I ever really fool
anyone – this is what I wonder now. This and how to try again,
to lift the rope I cannot see and at least fool myself again.