Plain American Language

I cut a sliver/of WC William's finger
and placed it inside/my philosophy...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Eye Like A Strange Balloon Mounts Toward Heaven (there's lots i'd want to change about this)

Derailed. That's the feeling.
Why even dare touch
your hand, a finger to it?
What an off-feeling, like the embarrassment
after too-short sex. No, that's not it...

A hum and a slight wheeze out
the left nostril. What huge nostrils,
huge teeth, what a vibrant aqua-marine tint,
what gills what teeth
what blank dead death eyes.

No body
can ever grow redder, shake so violently.
It was just so violent. Derailed.
What do we do at the moment
when anger lets out,

when eyes flare and the mouth opens.
Oh the eyes.
They fold over on themselves,
double over in hurt sometimes and sometimes
clap over the body.

There is a moment before
they grow wider--
in between self control and total abandonment.
That gap. Choice.

It's the red! The red
of embarrassed, too-short sex.
That's what it is.
The color.
Deep and felt

and the eye
like a strange balloon slowly mounts
toward heaven.
If only that really happened.
They must have widened: flesh, desire.

Hunger. Those teeth could rip anything.
Blackness worse than a dead, open mouth,
wanting you there. Ravenous,
gnashing. They stared at you.
They opened and closed.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

How to invite you in



How to invite you in.

Do you ever journey.

Do you mean what you say.

Say it. This is graphite;

These are your thoughts.

Do not stand.

You swivel in place; you scratch your belly--

Do you ever journey.

Whisper like a long dash your subject

Onto the blank surface in front of you.

Swivel your pen. Do you ever journey.

Look. Outside

The world is cold. Sit. Open.

Do you mean what you say.

We prepare by organizing thoughts

Like acorns and berries before winter.

Scream, viciously, inside your head one, solitary, thought.

Do you mean what you say.

This is how you prepare.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Harbingers and Resistance to Signs

A hum-mm after a cough.
Maybe trying to soothe myself
into a healthier state.
Dry, irritated cough. Seasonal.

The one true reason (out of several)
(an excuse to wear a scarf and
warm hats, for example) why
I look forward to winter

is the shape of bear trees
from a distance. Between branches
is light. And the oblongs
and semi-spheres of oaks, maples,

birches, willows slowly cross
the air with beauty between spaces.
I stood at the toilet overwhelmed
by the blood rushing my head

not two minutes ago. Like a twig
betraying itself and snapping
in the wind. This isn't a matter
of being suddenly cold; more so adrenaline and residual fears

of the dark.
This is the ritual:
turn one light on, turn the next on.
Turn the previous off. Run from room to room

in that same manner until safe.
Health doesn't ensure safety--
if that were true, I'd only be slightly
safe from outside this door.

Now we're in the bathroom,
every light is on. But the blood rush,
a louder hum-mm. Now we're in bed.
Now we're opening & closing our jaw

hoping our ears will pop. Hoping
our ears will hear more than they're supposed to.
Hoping the cough eases as eyes close.
Now we're in the dark.

As Usual (revised previous poem)

As usual, I stand up from the toilet
closing my book of poetry (lately
I've been vacillating between
William Matthews and Mary Jo Bang).
I wash my hands. My back cracks;
my wrists crack. Scratch. Sniff.
Who says we aren't creatures of habit?
Perhaps in a more unrefined manner,
but I mimic the weather as much
as possible: my routines change.

Not as erratically as New England weather,
I suppose, and that is the only
difference and what I sometimes wish
I could change: how our winters
are sometimes warmer than they should be,
and my scarves and hats lay folded
and hung. What I ask for is consistency.
What we get is rain while the sun's out.
Those days are always the warmest and most curious to watch:
walking through moist August
then showered on, interrupted.

Do we expect these things to happen
always umbrella-ing our heads?
Or do we walk out into it, uncovered, nervous
about the inevitability that the outside--
like our insides--will change?
Bathrooms, on the other hand, were meant to sit in
and reach inner peace. On that cold seat,
whatever else drops out of you
rolls down your forehead
onto your lips like a sudden, relieved "Oh!"