june 2010

forget my name

coffee by sunrise: i wonder what you would think
of how everything makes me think vaguely of sex,
how the smell of smoke can make me moan (or
of the fact that i smoke at all, or any of the other
unhealthy things i love to do); i wonder
if the turn my poetry has taken would fascinate you
as my prose once did. i wonder if you would have liked
to curl up in lawn chairs on the balcony staring out at the texas night
expounding on the joys of sucking cock,
if you would be surprised that i have done it–
if, had you not gone, i would have moved to texas at all.

maybe i would be living with you now.

maybe i wouldn’t have dropped out of college to begin with;
you had a way of saving me from myself, after all, before i knew
myself and i were fighting again. i wonder if the way my singing voice
has learned to undulate at long last like the professionals’ do
would floor you like your voice once brought me to my knees,
if the toffee color i have begun to observe in my eyes staring into mirrors
would entrance you like your tawny ones once held me.

i couldn’t breathe looking in your eyes
and i wasn’t even in love with you.
at least, i don’t think so.

i wonder if i would have allowed someone to fuck me
for the particular reasons that i did
had you been there to hear them spoken aloud,
rather than the months it took me to admit them;
i wonder if i would fight my body so goddamned hard
if you were still here to show me how to touch it.

i finally admitted it: i don’t write books anymore because
you’re not here to read them.
i don’t remember what having a friend without sexual desire is like
because since you left i refuse to let anyone close enough to learn,
unless it’s to seduce them. i need control, you know.
seduction is just one of the ways i’ve fallen to in my search for it
since i lost the certainty of you.

i wonder. i wonder. i’m chris isaak all of a sudden.
i’m fucking stevie, wondering shit,
pondering what my life would be like if you hadn’t gone and died on me.


on colorblindness and larceny

they call you thief
and paint you hues of lily,
ecru, golden sugar
warm like sun,
and point their fingers
when your fingers, clasped,
meet round the back
of kings they want to call their own–

fear not, princess of porcelain,
creamy courtesans: i see their folly.
i know your crowns
and your capes come stiff, steeped in blood
and guilt from your fathers,
stained with semen
from your brothers.
i smell the fear on your skin
but you need not worry;

you are no wily witch, i know.
no tome of incantations rests
between the mace and magazines
in your oversized purse,
no lovespells engraved on your lipstick tubes,
no vision behind your bug glasses but tunnel-.

take heart: i do not accuse you.
i know where the fault lies
and it is not in your bed.

to play explorer

searching over whelms
through and past fear,
beyond to courage
between rocks and hard places

climbing exhausted up molehills
to crest mountains

at last weak from a love sickness
called longing,

i will crawl under standing
and lifting last rocks (my world)

i will find you
and bring you home, ward

rage, jealousy and other such shit

i unraveled over pieces and parts
of glass shards spread by your hands
and writhed in masochistic self-sadistic silent
in hopes of retributionrestitutioncompensation
obliteration of humiliation–
exoneration by my own sword
from the crime of imagining comparisons
to poems about old men with jellybeans
to crafts like these would suffice;

“after what carissima said i cannot hope to speak,
but if you hear my breath catch” (know that)
“you are caught in the web.”

i said it all when i refused to say that
(aloud, anyway)