I wake and want to be different
from my self. I split the word
in two to show the goshdarn seriousness
of my intent. I do this for a someone
watching me (inside) who probably isn’t me,
but who ‘s always there anyway.
I mean the one who walks the other one
like a pet on a retractable leash.
These walks with our little wild friend
can be stressful. They can walk us,
and it’s embarrassing when others see.
Other times?  I’m not so sure.
We might enjoy the fun of having
a wolf take us for a ride.

A Blue Tail Feather

You have devoured the pheasant
and now you sweep your desk
with its blue tail feather.
So you didn’t write back
to your friend in dark need.
His darkness.
Hi darkness.
Of his own intricate making.
You get tired of talking to it.
The browner fields that lay wet all winter,
When you can’t not think of their bones,
There is really nothing in there,
Chunks, pried ice more than anything,
Maybe a few Gordian knots of roots,
The leftovers of the salad days,
They’re only here to be looked on.
It is and isn’t like a body laid open
By surgeons on a metal table.
The love knots and their strangulations
Of the anticipative past
You could display
As natural forms, as art.
Some of those look Gaelic.
They make for sexy tattoos of constancy,
The only real human threat.
The passivity of that earth,
strange as if it were a ring of Saturn,
why does it soothe you driving past?
Your soul is a photosynthesis of darkness.
The largeness of small chemicals
Should not be underestimated.
The smell of language’s chemicals,
How you use them to char the images
That float in the dark bath.
The swipe of your hand
Using the blue feather
In a lightless room,
Jabbing at furious dark and future dust,
Maybe this is really you.
It darkens the dust almost like an apology.
The world is in two pieces: you and it.
This wound into two is done.
The mouth suddenly closes.
The heart skips a beat of iron.
The blue feather commands your attention.
Your friend is gone into.

It does its little blue sutra.

[3 a.m. crickets, wall of sound: the ghosts of monks chanting in the yard]

                                        Their mind mass slows to the cool
September air, the tempo a function of temperature,
their self-explanatory dying, told without pity. Count the beats
to know how much impersonal darkness they have left.
I can’t hear it impersonally. I want to personify the sound.
I believe there is someone making that sound,
even if my someone is only dark splinters on the ground.
I feel it’s talking to me, and somehow performing my mind.
If I can’t take it any longer, I will throw open the front door
of my house and yell at them. They will grow quiet for a moment
as if listening to me. And then they (no they there) will continue
their chant. The sound will close back over me
like starlight, and I will drown in that.

Unnatural Nature Poem

A bird (species unspecified) flies alone overhead
without a theme, so busy. Oh, it has the usual needs,
and those keep it guessing. I am down here
on the ground with a theme. I am busy
with the usual needs. Gawking needs.
Thank you for keeping me guessing. Dear Nature,
who doesn’t give a shit about me.
(And all this time I thought we were close
or could be.) You knew better who kept whose distance.

The Gnomist, The Circle

For a man to prepare for death, he must draw a circle around his life. The larger the circle is, the more miserable he is. Over decades, he learns to rein in the circle, choke it down to a small radius. A radius not even as long as the distance from his shoulder to his arm. That silly, burgermeister distance. Then much smaller than that. The radius of his eye to his chin, then the radius of an eyelash, then a personal geometry of pain emaciated down to the radius of a single hair on that one eyelash. On certain days, if no one speaks, he can almost convince himself he is an amoeba. Certainly on those extremely quiet days he feels like an amoeba lit by a flashlight. He feels pellucid.

He is now looking down one single hair of one of his eyelashes, like looking down a wife, and the other eye is squinted shut. This might as well be the first microscope ever in existence. The goofy ass of a man looking down the eyelash might as well be Leeuwenhoek. I bet he was a goofy ass of a man, anyway.

That narrow line of sight on that airstrip of the eyelash hair is the full extent of this man’s new sphere of existence. The other eye is tortured shut like the half of consciousness that is pure ice cream, that molten planetary core of liquid ice cream, constantly agitated by the neutrinos in the agitator-cogitator (like a Versailles-size pool of chocolate in sacred, liquid form, tortured by giant stainless steel mixers constantly churning everything, apocalyptic, Aztec bumper cars) that target the cerebral, planetary core of ice cream. The otherness of mind with which we catch the prettiness of pretty women or pretty men as they float past us mostly pretty ectoplasm racing for a bank. That thing.

He is looking down one hair of one of his eyelashes, the eye that is open. He begins wailing, apologizing to some sense of Otherness, maybe not a god this time, wailing at it, apologizing to it, that he even needs a single eye, a single hair on that single eyelash to look down like looking down the sight of a gun.  To take off from this like the mobile doom that is a doomed airplane. To exist. And that it feels the need to even exist. That it feels a joy. With or without a sight on its gun, its eyelash. The disembodied feeling of joy itself. Wailing and apologizing for that too. That it enjoys being an animal so much and losing time the way that animals do and apparently love to do.