Boiling

Your head has been boiling
for some time now-
is it time to taste the plague
you’ve cooked up?

No-
the bones that you trust
sing a song of tomorrow,
tomorrow,
unending,
to die with the light-

your everlasting shipwreck
all over again

until time intervenes for you,
forgives the stones
you could not move.

 

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Thoughts On Spaghetti

Spaghetti is, in essence, the poor man’s hallelujah. It’s the Helm’s Deep of “Don’t tell me how to feed my family, Gwyneth Paltrow.” Yes it is cultured, don’t let anybody tell you it’s not. When your sweetie makes you some spaghetti for dinner, especially during those times when it’s dear, make sure to share some with the dog. When you’re standing in the grocery store aisle thinking, “God why does a thing of parmesan cheese cost so much more than I have?” remember that there is some fancy word for what you’re about to make for your kids, in your last-ditch strength as a parent before you fall dead asleep exhausted, and some ridiculous aristocrat is ordering whatever it’s called. Who cares if they get the parmesan and plus like truffles or something. Nobody has won anything over on you yet. When you scuffle your way into a train car on the check from Grandma’s birthday card, pick your eyes up and notice the people walking or laying on the sidewalk. And hey, when you’re maybe a big-shot one day and they say, “Congrats, Ferguson, let’s go out and celebrate” you better the hell not wince when AJ says he has to get home to his wife who’s pregnant and craving spaghetti. Don’t you be the one that spoils everything with truffles. Spaghetti is the poor man’s hallelujah and nobody asked you to rise above it.

Year 2: Day 164 – Last Thursday

Last Thursday I spoke all my normal concerns
once again to the air surrounding my ribs,
to the walls surrounding my bed in time,
to the styrofoam packing lodged in my throat,
and it’s always the same hot result,
blooming out of my ears:

“I think I don’t know about this love business,
I think there’s something they’re not telling us.
I think in the world of statistics it doesn’t make sense.”
I smash it between two hands
and I refuse to play.

I said to the dust,”What’s gonna happen to all of my friends
when they figure out their actual options-”
and God himself came down and said,
“Why you gotta be so negative?”

I said, “You know as well as I that hearts aren’t bags
we put our crayons in,
people aren’t safes we put our gold watches in,
but our wisdom memory is a certain amount of gigs
that revolves out the stuff we don’t need anymore
and I know that I’ve never loved.
No, sir.”

And he put his fingers on his temples
and did his best Billy Crystal and said,
“So what? So what? So what if you’re right,
if I told you that no one’s destined to love
and you can’t because you’ll never be perfect?
I made you an omelet and caterpillars,
you got strong ankles and you like some songs
and children are still gonna die no matter what you do,
but I guarantee not one will survive by your efforts
to eat pizza while having sex.”

And I said, “Whoa, calm down, I get it, jeez,
but I feel like the only one,
and it’s tough when you don’t ever see it
on the cover of a magazine,
you don’t ever see it in the corners
of your friends’ lonely eyes,
you don’t ever hear it in church
when there’s people in the front row kissing,
people onstage getting married,
people in single ladies’ youth groups
braiding their hair ’til they meet “the one.”

And he said, “You don’t have to worry about that.
You’re never gonna find it.”
And then he left.
And today I am the Queen.

Year 2: Day 96 – Typewriter

I’d like to carry a typewriter,
one that folds up in a suitcase
with a handle,
and sit smoking on a train
breathing inspiration through the windows,
puffing genius madly.

I’d like to work in a laundromat by day
and pocket extra quarters
for bottles of brandy
sucked back in moldy apartments
where my habit has its play.

I’d like to be firmly trodden down,
to have something to rail against,
to pray that the click and the clack of my fury
would be the sound of justice
in a deaf world’s ears.

I’d like to be alone when I die.
I’d like them to print that in the papers.
I’d like all the women who’ve tried to love me
to come forward to tell how much pain I was in,
like a blind man who hasn’t got time to be healed
who ironically sees so much.

I’d like to say I never wanted it all,
that I just wanted to carry a typewriter,
breathing inspiration through the windows,
puffing genius madly.

Year 2: Day 82 – I Surely Am Glad

I surely am glad
every thought that I’ve had
has been secretly hid in my head.

If a thought was a note
every thought ever wrote
would be easily stolen and read.

And just think, even worse,
tied in bags in the hearse,
every thought you had rather not said

would be read at your wake
for remembrance’s sake
to haunt you long after you’re dead!

Year 2 : Day 38 – This Is My Brain

This is my brain on OCD,
a What-If factory
that works overtime
to reach my Crazytown quota
before noon.

This is my brain on poetry,
exactly what I want to have said,
released to the world
so meticulously worded,
not one letter
out of place.

This is the world I’ve built,
where no one comes
and no one goes,
and I don’t answer the questions
I ask myself
again and again.

This is the place I’ve hidden,
where everything’s under control,
and this is the answer
to the question I stopped asking
because I’m pretending
it doesn’t exist.

This is my brain on love again
but it mostly smells of fear
and I can’t say
which one I could live
without.