squeeze play (20170525)

remember play-doh
the salty pasty smell
the unnatural colors
how it squished
between your fingers like mud or bread dough
the little die press that came with it
how you got in trouble
for playing with it in the house
because eventually
you’d drop a piece in the carpet
no amount of kneading
could disentangle it from the fibers
the disappointment of leaving the lid
off a can and finding
a little salty blob of stone

but the worst
–both an enlightenment
and eclipsing of some inner sun–
was mixing the colors
to make rainbow stars and cylinders
discovering too late
for your childhood ocd
that you couldn’t unmix them
that once entangled
they remained forever so

as an adult you realized
why they never bothered
to include brown in the set
since it was the inevitable
conclusion

tiresias speaks from hades (20170306)

what did oedipus see
after he pinned his eyes
in place in his skull

all

he banished himself
not because he was unfit to be king
not because he had brought a curse upon thebes
but now he could see light in every corner
under every stool

he could not bear the illumination

he was tempted to pull those pins free
but stayed his hand

if his eyes ever moved again
rolling in his sockets
their sudden freedom
would have blanketed him in darkness
and his sleep would have been peaceful
and his voice silent