Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Nothing Did for a Long Time

Sometimes I forget to stop
plucking an eyebrow and
before I know it, one frowns
while the other stares with
an almost open mouth.

Does a moth eat a sweater without
tasting the holes it creates with its mouth?

Depending on the longitudinal width,
a hurricane is given a “type” that is
used to classify the storm’s potential.
The force is then gauged before it hits.

The two boys across the street saw
me pick my nose so I ate whatever
it was that they found so interesting.

There was a year in the fall of 2001
that waited for things to happen.
The non-events that ensued kept us
from living for a very long time.

After digesting milkweed, a
butterfly secretes poisonous
liquid that is necessary for it
to lay eggs which it does so on
the weed and without hesitation.

Like nails, hair grows with little effort.
If a man suggests that both continue to
grow at a steady rate after death, he is
lying: a seat-belt should be worn when
he drives you home from school.

I’m not sure if I derive pleasure from my phenomenal ability to —what was I saying?
I think pleasure is an expression we use when —excuse me—I’m on the bus tomorrow
from eleven to four. How do I use the glue gun? It usually plugs right in. I’m not sure
if pleasure is a virtue but I know sexuality is more of an emotion than, say —that cat
scratched me again. I’m going to have to explain to my psychiatrist that no, I’m not

Looking for truths in written work is
like trying to find twilight in the sun.
The facts are in the classifieds and
a North American atlas from 2005.
Also: ink will not make you blind.

Upon dusting a mirror, how clear
is its reflection supposed to look?

The landlord installed screens on the sixteenth
floor windows because spiders kept sneaking
in and she and her roommate don’t like arachnids.

An earthquake has a “magnitude”
that is recorded by a machine
immediately after its impact.
Asbestos clouds and cries of
help don’t have time to settle.

I fell asleep at the drive-in before the
second feature began. She held a cup
that I woke up stroking until my pinky
was too wet: I offered it to the sunburn
on her back until she miffed Stop that!

Nothing happened when the Boeing
Hornets flew overhead. It was in
the quiet aftermath of their engines
that fear realized it was what we
asked for that year in September.

If everything I ate had to be dug
from the ground, I would be more
attracted to a monarch than the
solitude of a lunar moth hatching
work for crocheting hands.

Skin retracts and degrades long after death which is why
many people think hair and nail growth does not end.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


John clips the whole plant to individual branches,
hands us each latex gloves and shears, says
“Cut off the fan leaves, trim the close leaves,”
we start, “but please don’t cut off the crystals”
we nod attentively “that” he says “that
is money.” We don’t want to cut his money.
His children need to eat. They’re asking for new toys.

The smell is overwhelming: it’s fresh cut grass,
and roadkill skunk. I clip the small branches
around the thick buds—there are greens,
dark and pale. Sweet and strong, the sap drips
from the fresh cut stem. Stephen swears he hears
sirens and sees flashing lights, but we’re just harvesting
medicine; we are pharmacists in the living room.

With precise movements, we snip and watch an interview
about a sex-addicted golfer making a comeback.
I’m thumbing through a book.
I read aloud a poem about queer fear and
the husband, father, customer service rep,
and cannabis farmer says “That’s me, I mean,”
he pauses “that poem, I’ve felt that.” I shrug, he’s right.

They’re looking for him like they’re looking for us.
We conspicuously affectionate and unusually effeminate,
needlessly friendly and strangely hungry victims.
We’re clipping off our dead yellow bits and they
are looking for us. They want Stephen and I to burn in hell.
They’re trying to send John to jail. We’re chuckling about
the piles of leaves that stick to our shoes.

We’re telling one another about the open-caskets we’ve seen.
Ruth says she’s tired of being laid off, she
wants to be a mortician because death
never ends and sorrow never goes bankrupt. She
wants people to smile over their dead friends,
to say “They look so peaceful” and eat cookies,
drink punch and hand over the paycheck.

They’re looking for us and when they find us they’ll kill us
and picket our funerals. They’re going to make our parents
cry. The TV interviews will ask “Do you think they deserved it?”
They want to show John’s mugshot on the news,
they want to arrest Ruth and put the kids in foster care.
There’s an odd silence as we sit and clip
and think about our own open-caskets.

There’s more growing in the other room.
The bright lights are blasting through the spaces in
the door frame. The yellow-orange light makes the plants
look vibrant, and makes us look peaked. John says
“There are more clones, we’re adding lights and vents
to this room next week.” There’s a plant that is outgrowing
its bucket, getting stronger and taller.

I ask, “When will this be ready to smoke?” The room
is barewalled. The room is crisscrossed with branches
hanging on twine. “A week or so,” he can’t stop smiling.
The room is a dusty spiderweb of fresh green pot.
We even have to duck and crawl as we exit,
in the dark outside I understand
we are growing stronger and taller.