Sunday, October 21, 2012


today my feelings ride me,
a big tired elephant in the circus of
the heavy things
doing the languid ballet in my brain, around you

one time you made me cry
because your kindness surpassed
whatever threshold I had established,
and another time you said
"one day, one day" and
"I think about your pale skin and dark hair"

if I ever made you cry
maybe it was because
when we used the word “love”
we were summoning different chemical arrangements;

mine are down by the dried river, cupping their hands
in the ghost of the stream
as it twists snakelike
towards the rumor of an ocean
whose waves gossip your arrangement,

gossip Light while my pain sleeps in me
like a second skeleton
beneath my textbook one.

I feel feverish draped over it,
like I’d rather drape
over any other thing, but

ancient memory of my own mortality
blooms before it realizes itself, it
feels like half my tombstone
is in my stomach,

growing like one of those rubber toys in water.

sometimes it pauses,
reflects on its growth
and apologizes to me
and it fucks off
and I imagine whatever it is that you imagine for me
and I bask there:

"one day, one day."

I think there’s a meteor shower peaking tonight
above and between us
and I bask there, in the whole sky,
I bask across the things between us,
I leave my second skeleton behind

and in leaving it behind I discipline it, I make it
subordinate to the minutes that precede its waiting secret,
as I wade in the preceding minutes that lend me my history.

it looks on in silence so as to not offend the wading,
so as to not alert me to the inevitable death that is my chaperone,

and I can mistake the silence as sacredness or respect
if it obscures the skeleton lovingly.

and if it is lovingly then how can I be mistaken
and if I know love, it is in the retreat of that prescient chaperone

it is in the way we fall down the same set of stairs,
stopping intermittently to achieve something mutually distracting

it is in the way we revel in that which is mutual,
as if it betrays to the skeleton the loveliest thing of all:

we all die
riding the same horse


  1. Me and My Phantom

    Thought you were the cure but now I've only spread this infection,
    mask pinned to my face with writhing shadows that
    coil and flatten, fading,
    to a synthetic skin, zippered tight over me
    until the mask is a face
    and my voice is robbed too, winded from some infernal other lungs,
    while the eyes have long since died and been replaced
    with these cold lumps that see but do not feel,
    can not feel
    or believe
    or understand or engage or emote or sparkle or gleam or blink,
    only stare,
    pluck them out when all the rest rots
    is there anything left beneath?

    irony in the sense that
    I was blind before I met you,
    and that love is blind and that
    it all felt so blindingly bright
    as it flashed past and because
    now that it's gone there are moments where I can not see

    Will these days end and always the answer is
    yes, but will these days come again and always the answer
    is yes, but will these days get better or
    will they also get worse and
    will I get to fight somebody
    besides myself or whatever leering phantom
    has tricked its way into my skin:
    grinning through my skull while I wail from inside,
    beating my fists and straining to scream --
    will this all end someday? Will
    it abandon? Or am I trying to shear
    one face off a coin
    or shatter a reflection or
    quite simply
    pull myself up by the roots:
    what if there's no monster, no toxic aspect,
    only me spread thin,
    laid bare.

    Days like today I'd like to pronounce
    "Take him away,
    lock him up and
    yhrow away the key. Not fit
    For decent society" and
    while they dragged me off I'd grin and
    thank them: an end to this gross charade, all of this
    inane prancing and these strained-muscle grins and the
    grated out words that ring hollow,
    the mustered feelings that slip through me like
    exhausted ghosts,
    the conjured identities, primped and dolled-up, painted carefully so that
    at a passing glance they look real and
    the whole world is fooled by charades that say:
    here I am, whole and clean,
    let me hum forward,
    let me thrive,
    let me beam and bask and perpetually glow
    while beneath, roiling
    awareness bubbles like a witch’s brew:
    let me dance this elaborate deception while the eyes and voice are
    lucked and robbed,
    and I learn to embrace life as a painted man
    a papered man
    primped and dolled so carefully behind this mask
    and I’m only an exhausted ghost
    falling through myself.