Eating Them

Sometimes there is armor on the plate
The animal’s armor is there with it
It is nature’s wit
The colors emblazon on a shell
You go crazy with desire
Which protected the creature
Sometimes there are eyes looking up at you
Hunger is what you stare at
From defeat the aqueous eyes stare
Sometimes
You peel the skin back and then decide to eat it
You don’t see hairs in the skin which would be thorns
The skin is deliciously burnt
By desire and calculation
You lick your fingers
Thorns in the sensibility
Of a creature inside you assaying
The lightness of the things you do
The shame of devouring
What ticks off youth’s clock
But flavor is flavor
Flavor is the port of desire
Hunger lies on the plate of the mind
And it is a dead thing
Until it awakes like a snake on the plate
And it sidles between the flowers
That cover the dining table
Who are also dead
And many of the people dining with you
In fact,  those on either side of you at the table
Are also conveniently dead
They bob as if on vessels and they are
Feeding you and feeding on you
Yet you won’t scream
Because you are so hungry
And this is the right place to sit
So much nourishment is speaking here

Royal Scam

A window that cared deeply
about the railroad in its breast.

There was a Catherine wheel in the back yard
and a Cassandra in the guest house, paid.

All our forks were wooden.
But all our knives were copper.

This created an incredible sexual tension
between our implements at mealtime.

Later, we gilded even the mice
we beheaded in our traps.

This was when we really arrived.
This was the glorious period in which

nobody knew us

(but the ferrets that slunk
around our naked breasts).

A Sort of Story I Will Not Tell (But Talk)

I walked up to a tree this morning and said, “It’s complicated.” I had switched over to my other head, the one I like to pull apart, to pick apart in strands, islands, the head where my language is more my familiar than my self. My elf. Maybe I should specify it was a sycamore tree, or plane tree (as it is also known). Maybe I am occupying too much by thinking questions like this exist and want to come to you, trained doves. ┬áDo details matter? Of course they do, but they are as unicorns here, as useless facts, as windmills in an urban hipness, as unreal as anything else, a chain of as. A sort of licorice of ecstasy to unwind like a radial tire. You only believe in nodes of a story. Do you notice this about yourself? You might want to know where a character went in the novel, which streets he took, if he progressed like a squirrel or did much better, which corners he turned and what’s the address? You don’t care about the gnat or more inviting body, the great who rule over the imagined scenes, who are not consulted in our night of art, those things which might have taken her eye in the story considered real (to her). Should I tell you, for instance, I had my knife in my jacket pocket, as is my wont, or should I lie again and say it was a favorite stone, smooth, I like to (I must) caress with my hand? Now it is both a knife and stone at once, like that cat you like to talk about. Talk all you want. A doorway is made only for this. This loquaciousness. You don’t care about the great bank of all the ideas that ever were, that ever wore, but I say I do and either do I. I walked up to the tree and spoke to it, because it seemed a presence, luminous, white thing, thick, excoriating itself, phone book ugly, tearing its own skin off, day by day, alive, secretly parturient, stupid, liable to outlive me, illiterate, beautiful, hoggish, retro, mysterious, slave to wind, player with wind, trifler with all of us. I felt an affront and an attraction. The way it is before you fall into a hookup. “Why are you even here?” I screamed at the end of the mute soliloquy with the tree and then stomped off in ugly shoes. There was no one on the street. No worries. Even I wasn’t there.

The Light Bulb of Cumae

You say to write a poem
you need to feel inspired.
I have this light bulb
in the center of a ceiling,
the center of a room,
that is similarly unreliable.
I flip the switch at night,
but it only comes on
if it is inspired.
Yet I don’t replace
the broken light bulb,
out of a deep respect
for its past poetry
of half-assed
light.

The Tailed and Tailless

Who says my cat and I can’t share thoughts?
We do it all day, all night, long. Just watch us.
Together, we follow the slant of light from the windows.
We wonder at the shiftlessness of each other’s hours.
I do it with a pen and sleep. He does it
with a paw and sleep. The processes don’t seem
all that different to me. He has a tail for balance.
I’m a little jealous of that. I only have
a tongue to twirl and try to catch myself
when I make an ill-judged leap. It’s a rather
poor substitute when it comes to balance,
to pounce, as those who know me will attest.