Archive for January, 2013

A Friend? A Friend Stopped by?

Odd the things we channel our minds on
when preparing for the day in the water closet
(I’m not British, but the term is nicer than bathroom).

My mind will be a rocket ship on roller skates
in the middle of an infinitely-wide, seemingly so,
hockey rink, with all of the best from the hated
Sharks team, skating at me, not the goal, and they
all have pucks and more pucks so they do not feel

compelled to fear running out of ammo, and these
guys shoot hard, and I never have any pads, but
glory-be, instead of making slight attempts at
stopping the pucks, I’m pelted over and over as my

mind considers all the fabulous things I’ll do today,
sometimes projecting conversations in which
I feel as if I’m Winston Churchill, perfectly
undefeated in my oratory skirmishes, and this, after

all, is how I fuel my pride, how I feel sufficiently
armed to go out into the human world where every
glance is likely to melt me into the painted ice with
the molten black and rubbery smell of the pucks.

But today, Time, she came by.
Actually, just outside the window, which was closed
to the prickling chips of winter, but she looked
positively on fire, and you know what Time does,

she scolds you, and she was here this morning to tan
my hide, “Hey pig, piggy-pig, pig, pig, pig, pig.”
She said, Carl, you fool, your life is all gone.
Why do you fret and fritter about getting ready this
morning for a world that is all gone, that is not for you?



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Right-Sizing Traps Part II

A three-week streak, unthinkable, but it
was here. Imagine a perfect future through
to death without the slightest hiccup, and that
was my streak. Pride blew my insides out so I might

be a turtle without shell or feet, and I told my
father, for the first time in more than four
years, Dad, it has lifted. I think I’m okay. It’s
better, and I want to live during moments,
fat turquoise moments during ripe days, and

can you imagine the inflation of that pride, as I
dreamed of my father imagining that he might die
in peace now that he knows. Forever, his son will
be well forevermore. I woke up this morning and the

big, black, woolly, wet, cold blankets were strangling, poisoning
my spirit, and I said fuck you. Fuck you. Go away.
My blankets don’t leave on command so I remember

instructions: be with the pain: dig the pain: it is what
you are: be in the moment: don’t fight it. I rest
crooked in my chair and I cry for many long
minutes, and I’m afraid to call my father. I’m

defective again. Be with the pain. Three weeks

had seemed as if forever, but I was an egotistical,
overconfident prick to think I beat nature at her game,

much less to imagine beating God by countering his vehemence.


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The Day He Began to Change for Real

He parked his too-large automobile
in front of craft shops, wondering
who was watching him, who was judging

his journey, looking up slightly
at the seventy-three hundred
addresses, thinking about West and East,

thinking about which way was going
up so he could find the place. He knew
going in was a chore commanded of him

through a very brief moment of self-discipline
while knowing that this is the last place
he would ever want to go.

These people
are not the people
he would ever choose to be with.

The daily commute had been tortuous
for years. It had been part of his insanity
incubator, his car had become the prison

that had fostered the growth
of the most severe anger at the most
inconsequential things, not a violent anger,

but a fearful one, an anger that starts
with being born, an anger that starts
with his parents, but not an anger at them,

an anger at what they had given him,
all of those disgusting genetic defects.


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Right-Sizing Traps

I immerse a gray, nearly-dead mind
in a spiritual reading, searching for,
longing to create a space of goodness
in my soul, which itself seems to drip
a blue fungal trail, spitting like a baby’s
room which had been prepared too
carefully, and I learn that we inevitably
view ourselves as far bigger beings
than we are, more important, even
more critical, but mostly bigger. And
how could we step aside and see our
part in the universe? So this grows
badly as I think of the genius writing
from the science guy who writes beautiful
fiction – he tells me that he wants
to feel more important than that part
that is a millionth of man’s concept
of the tiddly building block, the atom.
I make three steps in my hallway,
feeling my flesh disappear, my bones
are the tooth picks of an empty,
meaningless being who is so tiny,
his brain and his vocal chords
should be eradicated forever.


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Perhaps, It Should Be Bach

Mahler adds a false drama to my winter afternoon.

I’m the bear who’s been torn to bits by the shotgun,

but I’m not. I’m the silent mouse, daintily crawling,

searching for approval, strangled by all of the thorns

of ice falling with aggression from the moldy brick

buildings. The scampering of the Mahler violins

makes me jump on top of the stale structures, and

the horns, the most powerful horns with the trombones,

they urge me to tear into the buildings with giant claws

made from plastic straws which never transport

the vanilla shake that helps fix my terrible moods,

but the buildings smash back at me at impossible

diagonal angles, shrinking me, forcing me to realize

who or what it is that I am. The man in the cafeteria

Speaks on the phone as if with his lover, and he’s

terribly ugly, but he creates life worth living, while I

pull the shards of ice out of my body, while Mahler’s lush,

glazed violins sing of unspeakably beautiful children, and

just before the children die, hope bubbles in my silent zones,

Trashed again by a man who is really a mouse, a parasite.


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