smoke gets in your eyes (20170616)

douse me in accelerants
use a word as effective
as a zippo shielded from the wind
to ignite me

shall we count, then?

see how fast i burn
almost as if I were made
of dry, bundled grasses
whispering, shushing

what number did you reach
before there was nothing left of me?
i hope you were not distracted
by all that smoke

untitled (20170615)

fish bait skull
head full of worms
and you’re not
even buried yet

writhe and twist
spasms of simple muscle
react

heat, light,
electricity, auras,
biorhythms, train whistles,
cuckoo clocks, bees,
ankles, nipples,
pudding, time
decay

let’s go fishing

the illusion of memory (20170614)

what is this place–
some kind of dorm
prep school, college?

filled with debris of an old life
this place is unfamiliar in ways that
reveal the lie
of the illusion of memory

here, a set of tibetan prayer flags
piles of books without titles
and so many toys
all things i have never
specifically handled
touched or
loved

the room buzzes with people
a handful of them long dead
every one interested
in helping me clean
scavenging things they want
from my old life
in a rush to get this room ready
for the next inhabitant
dragging objects packed or not
down concrete stairs
to where a moving truck
already stuffed full
awaits

shoppers draw near the scene
–a cosmic garage sale–
offering money
or just taking what they want

impossibly in the room
and on the ground
at the same time
the more i pack the more i discover
items still unclaimed
a box full of glass eyes
coins from foreign lands
an old handheld game

i should feel some kind
of attachment
yet only the dead give me pause

an overwhelming sense
of futility mixed with exhaustion
washes over me

i peel back carpet
and find a rotted wood floor
i have never seen

anatomy lesson (20170611)

i have taken myself
apart like those model kits
you know, the visible man

he had transparent skin
and you could see his skeleton
and organs but not his state
of mind
[though there was a small
pink brain in the tiny skull]

i open up
split in half
my body
an invisible canopic jar
pull out the spleen
the liver
the lungs
put them back
the wrong way
see if the plumbing still
works

leave out the heart
or the brain
you can’t have them both
working at the same time
instinct [which boils down
to what you want
and what you don’t want]
or reason
[but the brain is already
rubbish at that–did you
see the gorilla on the court?]

spleen
who the hell needs that
leave it out
when i shut the lid
on this transparent coffin
this brittle, see-through skin

i have less to worry about
than the visible woman
with her alternate pregnant form