do you care about anyone?
The windows are down. It’s 12…I’d thought it 10.
And what you said yesterday I still feel in my feet.
I dwelled on it during this drive home
intermittently, and each time I thought you
may be right, the rain would pause in mercy--
As though my brain knew beyond normal knowing
And could seize control of the world
Turning it into a mirror;
Or had given life to some wooden creature
With a capacity to adapt, and who called itself god;
Or really was just God in the form of a brain
And maybe that’s why I still remember
this little figurine of mine lost in childhood:
A pink, spongy brain, bodiless, without a cranium either
staring at me with yellow eyes from afar,
psychotically tiny and god-like.
A scenario in which even those artificial wooden creatures
may be welcome, scientifically,
into our kingdom, if (as I am wont to think)
no soul does exist;
Would that put us on the level of wood and plants?
I still didn’t know what to say,
how to answer your question,
But I made a list of people I knew
on a green post-it
And wasn’t sure if all of them were real
Or if I were real to them
And supposed it tough to appreciate
When I consider rooms compartments of my brain
And wonder what all my mess there
Could symbolize; or when
I wander with two friends, walking between them,
The sun setting ahead of us,
And the left-hand messes up math
And the right-hand messes up English;
Or how all this rain may just be a reflective effect,
No cause for anything;
The implications looming, I chose
not to think of it—of them, I mean--
at all; I put what you said out of mind, and things
got blacker, again; and I was very wet by then,
and didn’t care
As I ceased instinctive and obedient at the stoplight,
the red light solid,
reminding me of order
a dirty panhandling war vet raged walking in the street,
a lunatic pounding windows, yelling
like an army—I put my windows up and
hoped he wouldn’t come for me.
Something About a Woman
The state next to the state next to the state I grew up next to.
This is a hard sentence to say. Something gets stuck in the larynx.
do you have something going on over there? something fleeting, some inconsistent
lather? that word seemed indulgent, an inconsistent lather
will these days just become a memory stuck in the larynx
I did not know that it is truly just before 5 in the morning
already, still and always awake: want to know a secret about yesterday?
I was in so much pain, that is all. The state next to the state next to
tomorrow, I wrote something about a woman.
Just something about a woman in that state in the inconsistent lather
stuck in that, stuck in the same bolt upright position,
that means the yesterday within tomorrow,
but full of that yesterday within tomorrow, so don’t worry,
the woman in the state in the state is okay. The state quivers
at the edge where the lather stops, the deepening lines in your face.
I’m sorry if I’m confusing, it is just half past 5,
half past, but it took my whole life, this is taking my whole life
it is a kind of death, not a painful one but then that is a lie
and you see it, in it you see the state next to yesterday but
I do not want this to be cryptic and unreachable.
I want you to take it,
I don’t want it stuck in the larynx, I am nauseous, I am bolt upright.
Yesterday within tomorrow is the painful burden I carry.
What if I stopped. But it hasn’t been said yet; I want you to take this with you
but you still won’t remember me the way you should.
Yesterday within tomorrow, but still too far, she sat bolt upright,
listen to it, the state has an orchard, and the ordered trees
gave way to a wilderness that ended with a beach on a great lake,
the blue of the water washed into the self somehow, it rubbed off
into my eyes and now you have it, a little in your tint,
maybe the red of your lips are hinted blue
or underneath your nails where the skin gathers it is faintly just there
now you have it even if you don’t know yet.