poem 2

I was telling Wancy about a book I just finished, Zeroville, and about how I don’t know, even though I couldn’t stop reading it and finished it in two days, how I feel about it. He looked it up online and read a summary which mentioned something about how it examines how films become an object of worship, like gods, and he said, “It’s like that line in your poem.” My mind stopped, and then it said, My poem? and I said out loud, “What poem?” And he said, “Right? Your one poem? ‘We sat on fences with splinters in our hands . . . ?'” And I said, “That poem! You have that poem?” Wancy had the poem I’ve been searching for. Apparently I gave it to him ages ago, and he is using part of it to open his novel. I am so excited that I don’t have to go hunting for it in my parents’ basement. I am also further disturbed by the feeling that I am not entirely real.

I wrote this sitting at a dining room table, flanked by a caged parrot and a caged pig. It was a challenge, to write something decent incorporating words that were thrown at me at random. He was lying on the floor somewhere between my heart and the kitchen, eyes closed, just giving me words in intervals, words that had little if any connection to the one previous or following. He didn’t have any idea of what I was writing, and I had no idea most of the time how to write in the words he gave me, but I did, because I didn’t want him to win, and because no matter how absurd the words he chose were, they were the right words. I feel like we used up all of our right words together in that one time. It would explain a lot of what happened later.

This doesn’t have a title, and the I I am now wants to edit it, strip it of its gawky elements, make it sleeker, but I think the thing I love most about it is its storm. And a storm is just water when you take away its rough elements. So, anyway, here’s what was carelessly called “poem 2”:

we sat on fences with splinters in our hands
and I could never decide which way to climb down.
this dilettante, with wild extrapolations on the
Moment that never comes
doesn’t speak a word by voice but waits
for clouds and icecream to take their toll
with clichéd speeches and trains of thought
that roar between ears at bedtime
with fairy tales that old us lies and
laughed as we discovered the truth
Mother who strapped we in belts to keep we
locked inside when the metal gouged and
ripped on impact Our chronology of my attempts
at freedom, shot in the wing every day for 20 years
til no wings were left–but feet–
the man on TV with the benign smugly smile
prophesizing the fables in literal expectations which
we plundered for treasure and gave up when us
found blood and rocks instead of diamonds and
loves Me whose desperations led to do what thou
wilt frantic explanations and redemption after the
coupon had expired and the three fold law had folded
in on itself, poured page after page into
words to ease the malignant plasma that ate the soul
he with splinters not only in hands but in legs and
arms and face track-lined and angry took the blame
for it all while she who claimed peace and ideals lay
finally in stagnant womb face down, crying for that
other road on shoulders of Mom, a reduced and
illuminated zygote screaming unleashed for a
cigarette and cup of joe in early morning illusions
Me who broke a pencil and cried 3 hours straight
until I lost the conviction of my pencil’s
importance and eyes were red and itchy and called ugly
and told not to be a child and find some visine
Me who looked with red ugly eyes to find Polynesian
heaven encased in a bottle of lace and dark eyes
and beautiful eyebrows Me whose private hell was
located in Antibus although the place and name
is unfamiliar hells, when private, have no boundaries;
Houses of gold and marble with grand staircases that
when seen in a fashion slide quietly against the grain of
atoms until dropping stippled onto white unlined paper
is where he, who found his word that all of his life he knew
he possessed, wrote it down and reveled in its concise
contortions We who kissed toads from backyard creeks
to see if shining people with deep rumbly voices
would arise only found cold skin and unblinking eyes
We who in such dense air found flight to be the only
means of movement claimed the plethora of Hollywood
movies to be our existence
and from its lies we built our belief


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