One might look toward the sky except
One is only a person, theoretically.
I longed for violence since my thoughts
Were coeval with the sun. Weird
How my body does negate this flower
By trampling it, how I then imagine
Myself—from nature’s POV—as host
To a virus that materializes in the lungs
And exits through the mouth, an infection
We call language. Imagine a world
In which every plant is edible, and just
Stepping on the grass is to destroy, and eat.
I thought about the value of laboring
To shake the verdure from my brain.
I thought my friends were immortal
Until the world around us grew sick
And the cities plagued the mountainsides
With their philosophies of love.
One figures that the imagination
Would be a place of dirt, but one forgets
That, together, water, marijuana, beer,
And a certain fierceness of the air
Perform their songs in this auditorium
We call “the mind.” For you, I’ll wrap
In tissue paper Opal Whiteley’s skull
And paint it green, or pink, and spell out
Your name in rhinestones. It’s too stupid,
Carrying morphine in an ink-blotter
As if “you” or “I” or “one” would paint
With violence the bodies of the dead.
Me, I mean I, I think in iambs
And you, I mean your face, it has to burn.
Still, there’s got to be another way
To theorize the spring—as in, to style
Oneself an intoxicant of wheatfields
And to throw oneself, discreetly, from a tower
And thus to find in evil a sort-of grandeur
And with one’s suicide, to corrupt the earth.
There is no need to put aesthetics
Against the internet, or to drink coffee
And write of the ancient city-states,
Their trade routes, their faith in agriculture.
When I think of the bed that, drunk
And stoned, we’d lie on, I think of the magic
Of being a boy tonight, masculinity being
The the handsomest word we have for death.
I’ll call my internet service provider
And ask them to turn me into a boy.
I’ll drink coffee with you, since time,
As we say, is either “passed” or “kept.”
You’ve been writing sonnet crowns
Beside the evil of your lamp
While the ghosts of ideology flare up
Momentarily, making light of the senses,
One’s senses—if one means “you” or “me”
Or “them”—Mostly, I’m alone here.
We might as well be prepositions
The way “we” touch “each other,” the way
The night builds warehouses inside us,
Mixing concrete in the esophagus,
Installing black wine in the heart.
Modern spelling has failed us so
In what time we have left, I’ll use thorns.
Þe way þe dawn appropriates þose
Aspects of evening we hate. þe way
We can’t stop talking about þe dawn.
I can’t read anymore. The sun
laughs at me when I open my books
so I take out my laptop and write
a scene for the three of us—you and me
and the sun. We’d read but we’re in
a cemetery, so we light bonfires instead
and take the ashes to our library and
use them to bury our books.
You can do a lot more with wood ash
than you can with poems. Mix ash
with water, and you’ll get lye. Put ash
in a bong, you won’t get high.
That rhymes. I’m taking my clothes off
as I write to my lover le Duc d’I-don’t-know
as I write myself into the final, beautiful
scene of some Victorian ghost story
in which I am the ghost and you, the description
of a window that overlooks the sea.
I don’t know why I bother writing
about writing, or why I pull my skirt up
to reveal nothing to you, since my body’s
invisible and this poem, too obscure.
A tree solicited you, so you ate out
its leaves. And me, I put my ghost hand
on the cock of the nearest waterfall
and with my other hand, I’m writing emails
from my sickbed to you in your sickbed.
We’re looking out a window together.
We’re giving pleasure back to nature
which is what our poems fail to do.
So when you get Microsoft Office updates
or iTunes updates or notifications
that your browser is ready to be updated,
think of me, and I’ll ignore them for you
because I’m the creature that dwells
a hundred feet below your computer
in a cave that looks to you like a prison
and there are prisoners here, though mostly
we call them poets, and we’re all together
in a cave beneath you and your laptop,
watching you watch our words float
across the internet, while our bodies suffer
the boredom of unextraordinary life.
You’d like this watercolor I’ve painted
of my idea of the sun. It burns me
in this cave where I’m writing to you,
which is a crawlspace really, and really
there are no other prisoners here
and no food either, except the food
you leave at the entrance while I sleep.
And I’ve been sitting next to you
for a hundred years, feeding you words
as if poetry could sustain your body.
Showing you a better way to eat.