some of july
when you think continuously about a fearful possibility
you are only half-there in your car, your job, the tidbits
that usually make you happy. sorry i was distracted, you say
as if there were a small rock in your shoe, that's all.
but you know most of you is being pushed by a gale towards a cliff.
good thing you're only half-there too.
and when it's not continuous, when the feeling of being
a shadow on an old brick wall, trash in the mud of the alley
is brought into you by a few words or a person seen
from the corner of your eye, the switch is turned on,
the night now is bright, too bright, it's overwhelming.
so your fears make you a failure in your own half-opened eyes.
and your world -- all around you, in you -- consumes you,
the first time it happens we begin to figure how spineless
ennui is, yet how total its jellyfish devour. until we are frightened enough
by our own undramatics, our scene blocking -- the quiet frightened --
we'll never know how badly everything was botched.
the other thing:
when someone, like some guy i know,
has two strikes in the prison game,
and has been rumored to say
that if he knew he was going to be taken in
for being involved with guns
or fighting once more, he'd finish
the guy(s) off, whatthehell. the thing about rumors
is that sometimes they're not true,
but once in a while they understate
the possibilities. i imagine red splashes
and dismemberment, and try not to
tick the guy off. if you think about it,
he's the guy who's half-there,
always uncomfortable in his shoes
is what we think, but
what's really going on is a whole lot worse.
myself, i'd rather be a shadow than worry about
a rock in my shoe.
7 26 08
THE PROSE POEM
The prose poem is not my forte. Sometimes I believe the poem is not my forte. I read an old copy of Sentence while in my bathroom. I read it over and over and sometimes I'm almost late for work. Work is certainly not my forte. I don't think I understand the prose poem. Does writing one have to do with wild connections? Maybe it goes the other way: like an old radio show it speaks almost enough, and this creates the story for someone who reads it, who listens to it with his mind's ear. Some prose poems sit on the page easily, a few words. When they get up to greet us, they aren't that easy, after all. They bully us. Some tell a story, but we suspect they don't tell the whole story, and so we go back to them, over and over, as I do in my bathroom. Maybe this isn't a prose poem. Maybe it's a poem, and I've decided to trade the lines for a block, Tate the other way around. If he can call them poems, maybe I can get away with calling this a prose poem. But, as I've found, over and over through car wrecks, love and illumination, my last thin dime: getting away with it isn't my forte either.
7 13 08
A BAG OF FROZEN PEAS
I went to the store for, among other things, a bag of frozen peas, and the repetition. I admit I see things as objects, then eat them. Except for poems, they eat me, when they're too cute, like this right here.
At the store, the meat was bloodier than usual. I'm not sure if this is a good thing. A lady with a nametag watches me with concern. I see some of my poems in the bread department. A few have cents-off stickers. This is so cute, and so like retribution. And now I have my bag of peas, which I pay for, and some other things. It's icy outside on the walk and I slip and fall unceremoniously. The bag of peas goes sliding, but luckily the peas are safe, contained.
7 20 08