Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Zero to Fifty
I take my measure, and it is zero:
Nobody invites me anywhere;
Nobody reads my poems, not even
My lovers, unless I twine
Around their legs and whine. Yet
Like everyone, I hold onto
A few signs the gods hold me
In some esteem. Count mine:
Nothing I care about has ever
Been stolen from me. I can sleep
Anywhere. Everywhere I ever lived
Has had an abundance of hot running water.
I step into the shower and watch
The water flow over tiles swirled
In grey and green and ochre,
All the colors of a beach at low tide.
Photo: Let the Right One In. I'm a social media vampire--you want me, you must invite me; I'm not allowed to invite anyone.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
XVI: The Tower
Drunken Jenga Night
I am only following orders to get out
More, make some new friends, get my mind off
Things. Like that. So it’s margaritas in the babble
Of the bar, hours after the happy hour—it still smells
Of handbags and 5 o’clock breath, a fresh layer of powder.
I’d say that flop sweat of the cubicle still hangs
In the air like smoke, except no one is permitted
To smoke anymore. I sneak them. I sneak everything
These days; I am a master sneak, a sip, a look
At my phone, those are just the ones you catch me at,
Diversionary tactics so you won’t notice the big deception.
You’d be wise to think of everything you see these days
That way. But to the task at hand (mine shake.
Are you sure you want me on your team?):
The destruction and simultaneous reconstruction of the tower.
One is the one that sets the tone. Two is the one I’ll leave
Up to you. Three is the one that no one could see.
Four I perform for the man at the door,
Who couldn’t bear keeping the order any more.
Five is the monster who waits at the gate
To topple the tipsy woman he hates. Six! Six! Six is success,
Writ large on the poster above the picture of a gleaming window wall.
Seven—oh, place what you have taken away
So carefully. More and more holes in the structure,
Rickety, swaying: You’ll never get it back
The way it was. You know that’s not the way
This game is played. Seven, seven, they all
Stop to watch what happens next.