Monday, April 20, 2009

The Gorgon’s Will Be Done

I.

Today we felt the sea change.
Felt the current sweep the
heaver particles of sediment
from the depths up to
the shallow pools of the
Mediterranean Sea where
we garden, populating the rough
coast with immovable vigils
of stone.

“Born of the sea” our mother told
us, “with the spirit of Poseidon.”
“Scared under his star,” she said
we wouldn’t live beyond a century.
But here we are, legion and aging
pristinely. We lay in hideous wait
for an opportunity to leave. Then
it happened: we felt our future
change.


II.

Poseidon’s spirit
sure left its
stain: he took us
at the altar of
Athena. We were
fair-cheeked
and chaste.

O cursed be that
name, that
scourge of legend
who forces
himself on the
prettier young
women.

There was Tyro
and Allope.
Demeter then
Europa. As well
As Amymone,
Caeneus, Clieto
And melia .

He’s had them all
And desecrated,
More reputations
Than Nero has
Christians. That
abomination
of lust

sent us to
this island of
ruin where
no gentleman
dare navigate
its cliffs or stroll
its wastes.


III.

An admirer will come dote on us
today. Not my lovely sisters
but us, the wretched lonely. We
know from the sea and on
the shore where the gulls screeched
“he is coming and bears four
gifts on his horse: a cap, a sword
sandals, and a shiny targe.” We
expect he’ll leave

with three more judging from the
surge in appetite since that
night Poseidon laid with us. We
have dreamt of the children
that will spring from our abdomen
We’ve waited for this collector
To come free us from our
Pebbly prison—wait, what’s
That in our garden?

Is that our sisters we see
or our own reflections…

Friday, April 17, 2009

Let freedom ring

"The most unhappy man in the world is he that is not patient in adversities, for men are not killed with the adversities they have, but with impatience which they suffer." - Charles Bailly, 10 September 1571.

America, take up your sleeves; the day has only begun
and there is so much important work to be done.
We will finish by dusk if we stand as one
and sweat and squint in the midday sun.

America, how may I see you right?
How Whitman heard you sing that night?
How Roosevelt dug his boots in thick,
the mud caked on his walking stick

and pollen gathering in his beard
America,
I've missed you dear.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Undergraduate on St. Patrick's Day

It’s warm tonight.
An early spring to mark
the conclusion of March
while the wind blows itself
in circles against alleyways.

Out there,
on the sidewalks the men
and women are lazily clothed
in last summer’s fashion:
dull green from head to toe.

They spill onto the pavement.
Cars swerve and honk
at the oncoming barrage
of frustrated souls embodied
in youthful wet dreams.

These people squawk back,
shouting at the motorists
to learn to drive their ca….
Onto the other sidewalk,
the mass marches onward

to the safety of a toilet seat
in such times of uncertainty.
Grasping hold of its bright
whiteness their bodies scream
out the wasteful evening

Their future lies in an
attempt to reach prosperity:
competition, marriage
children and church meetings.
What sense of justice depraves

this community?

Where I’ll be waiting. Their
fathers built these streets
and bulged their pockets to
be reckless. I’ll teach their
children about value and esteem

Then they will surely hate me.

"Art is a destination" I hear the muses sing

for Tiffany
thanks for letting me pretend
to be a woman

I

i wish i didn't put myself out there so much
and was proud enough to capitalize
all the proper nouns that do describe
every ounce of my inner being.
But i’m afraid of getting hurt
I choose instead mortar, flame,
to burn the lives of others
who want my intimacy
but they must know
mine is not unique.

i fear i may have
jumped the gun again.
Perceiving things wrong.

“These short lines
Can’t be misread”
i type
i never really liked
to read.

II

Someone asked me once
to name my top five books
and i couldn’t, i’m proud
enough to respond with
an educated explanation…

I never liked the unlearned.

Though people make me
hypocritical i know
i’m not that smart
i blame the glasses
they leave the lasting
impression I’m proud
enough to know
people read me
wrong.


III

This environment is not art:
a small desk with light enough
to illuminate the idle cobwebs
in the corner where I write
the American Spirits smoke themselves.

They wear and scratch at the sleeves
of my American Apparel v-neck tee
They’re hunched over my laptop
typing listlessly through
puffed smoke screens
of insight
that get lost
amongst the ash tray.

“Art,” I sigh as if it’s ME
typing with unmanicured
fingernails stained
like tooth decay on
and off the home row.
Their cherries speak
the click and klack
of type

On keys
where I am not the artist.
I am the clich├ęd American
listening to Icelandic poets
sing lullabies in a tongue
I’ll never taste nor touch
to the tip of one
genuine spirit.

IV

This is me smoking
The image of a reality
I could capture if
I had more talent
but the boyfriends
never let me sleep.

Instead, I perform ecstasy
On a four cornered stage
Laden with sweat stains
And always dirty sheets.

If only I could get paid
I think with lays
like these.

What matters is
I’m not talking
about politics
or the economy
or the person i
believed once
to be.


V

Click
The economy
Klack
Siblings I never see
Click
Gifts for my father
Hiss
He’ll never receive

Squawk
The lunch I attended
Klack
With my ex-fiance
Click
I forgot to mention
Smack
How great life was without him

IV

The theoretical act
of a pack of cigarettes
smoking me into oblivion
is a device purely likened
to the performance of an
ego overcoming self-
masturbation

Hands touching
fire to fingers
holding paper
while touching
a machine that
offers singularity

And now the rush
ripples through me
the gradual release
of me getting off
finally

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

How much it means to you

I've seen the easy way of passing by the truth.
I've lied and known the weight in how the lie was used,
but just to make it simple and easier to take
we'll keep this all between us and never have to face
what Jesus did to you.

When you met me then, I asked your plans that night,
you said "I've learned not to plan, it never turns out right."
It all seemed so confusing until you took the lead,
and now we've got that figured out, the worry should recede
of all that you could be.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Belles of the Ball

Human life is a case of nuclear waste,
festering and buried deep beneath
Minnesota’s Iron Range, where it
waits to sprout mineral wings.

The sound of their tinny nourishment
beat destruction down on everything
that was and now isn’t. Nothing left
living at least nothing actually breathing.

Earth’s orbiting satellites jest “Sic”
semper tyrannis,” having witnessed
the end of a natural habitat. They’re
left to bask in independence,

taste their metallically bonded
tongues and laugh and laugh and
yet, Man’s memory lives on still
in the corporeal nostrils

of the lake’s dry shores whose
inhalation of the fallout radiates
consistent in the forever long
and sordid winter.

The satellites observe these
no-longer-spoken borders where,
above them, dimly lit monitors
click and klack meditatively…

The crags of once great lakes
cast shadows on their depth.
The hypocenters echo the
spirit of a dying planet

awestruck by its sole
inorganic inhabitants.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Alexandra

My dog is sick and will die soon. Bone cancer is eating her leg.
My father took her on a long car ride to taylor's falls (way out in the styx) where the MN metropolitan highschoolers go to jump the cliffs into the river. My brother said Alex stuck her head out the window the whole ride there and back. My dad remembered when Henry and I were little and played minigolf nearby at gooseberry falls. Henry was losing and quit playing, saying the game wasn't fair. Alex is older now than he was then. She still has a couple more days until she can quit.
I remember rolling up my jeans and wading into the shallows of the falls, slippery and sharp rocks uncomfortable to my always shoed toes. The water rolled over my ankles and ushered me to take the plunge over nearby precipices. I could never bring myself to make the jump.
I always passed out during the scenic ride home, long before my head could hang out any window. Car rides always put me to sleep; the rhythmic movements, the pulse of the road lulling my muscles to relaxation helping me to leave behind my active heartbeat and full breaths that characterize the necessary silent portion of existence.

Friday, April 3, 2009

OnLYme

I have made one single decision,
which is the decision to make decisions.
Societal-neural incisions and implants cannot do more than supplant ideas into the recipient.
Cognito. Ergo sum? Ergo a societal mirror reflects each and every one of us. Or is this just what we assume when we declare God is making fun of us?
If we are all the bathroom rugs in the cosmic pisser,
where does the slime we slither between us come from?
Furthermore, do you love this rug just for where I have been, or for my slimy intellectual influences contained within?
Why is that that in the bed of a structuralist I dreamed of you telling me 'there IS original thought' all the while seeing it through the pen I just bought?
You wrote of how you knew what it was like to be dead,
among inklings of angels on the back of a gum wrapper in a Harriet prison-of-the-head
Which is to speak of knowing the difference between life and not-
The world creating for the world forgot.