Monday, March 5, 2012

More old-ass poems I never finished and/or forgot about

This one was supposed to be in a chapbook that never saw the light of day; IIRC Kitchen Press folded when Justin Marks had a computer meltdown and decided to focus his pressly efforts on Birds exclusively. Basically exists so I could use the "word" "unphased" (a typo I fell in love with, much like "seamingly"):

My heart doesn’t hurt, it just feels
like it hurts. You say I seem “unphased”—  
that’s exactly how I feel. Try this trick
to see shapes in higher-  
dimensional space. Was it a lucid dream,
or was believing that  
part of the dream? The plot of
Groundhog Day as cultural currency?  
This room has no focal point,
no TV. I feel like I love you.  
Or I love you, verbatim.
My heart hurts exactly.

This one is much older, like 2003, and exists so I could use the word "raster":

I met a man whose memory ran backwards.
He sat at my table and filled out the crossword
in raster. I memorized it tomorrow, he said.

I smoked several of his cigarettes; he promised
they wouldn’t kill me. He knew nothing of the past,
could not conjure an image of his parents.
I spoke of the betrayals of mine.

We looked out at the view: it was raining,
with gravestones. But I was not unhappy.
He walked me home, and in the shared warmth

below his umbrella I let him kiss me.
It felt like a last kiss instead of a first.
It seemed impossible not to love him.

When the sky cleared he pointed to Orion,
the X of the body, lines crossed in space.
I knew it had always been this way.
He knew it would never be otherwise.


  1. My favorite lines:

    "The plot of/
    Groundhog Day as cultural currency?"


    "I spoke of the betrayals of mine.

    We looked out at the view: it was raining,
    with gravestones. But I was not unhappy."

    I think both of these are pretty great. Where's The French Exit, Part Deux?

    1. I always liked the phrase "raining, with gravestones" myself. These will have to go into my Juvenilia! French Exit, the Prequel?

      Congrats on your new chap, BTW! I whiffed on hitting the Poor Claudia table at AWP, so I haven't actually seen it yet ... but they make such lovely books.

  2. Your Juvenilia is my Waste Land. You should post more of said juvenilia type poems! Or more new things that are just kind of “sitting.”

    Thank you about PC. It does make a lovely book! Have a great week!

    1. You've made me feel better about posting these, because I felt like slightly an asshole. I'm sorry I didn't get to see you longer than 3 seconds in Chicago!