Somewhere, there’s a million Bronx’s
talking like a prophet or shooting star
or I wish could be.
But saying it can’t leads to couldn’t,
and I can’t figure out if I’d want to die
or just come real close,
and if it’s the anti-christ
or the holy ghost, but WHO
THE FUCK CARES because I already have
the receipts for last year’s despair
and it’s not enough for a deduction.
I get around just fine
even if I’m a little tired after
all the stairs that end
at some absurdity itching my throat
like a desperation reeking of March
and it’s wringing espresso
from my hair (from all places
to be tossed out of my own thoughts)
and diamonds from my fingernails
and Kilimanjaro from my whiskers
(of all the places to be plucked from).
Every year the same cliffs
present themselves like a sleeping
river to an awake land of vast
intractable voids and parking lots
that I’ve smoked a cigarette
or two more than the entire Bronx
and its entire head tilted up
beautifully and suddenly and brilliantly
like an Avenue A night that creeps in
(how I wish things didn’t just run on,
how I wish I could reorganize everything,
how I used to whisper operas to myself
in barren stairwells running up and down,
how I lost my sense of direction
like finding my way home was orbiting Jupiter).
For the first ten days I was an anxious,
Shitty ghost. In the second coming I sang
In an uncontrollable American accent
And wept like I minced my hand
On my finest crystal tumbler. At the highest
Speeds I’m waiting for America
To catch up with my Italian espresso veins
Revved up like the glorious Ferraris that push
My dreams right out of my head
So I can’t even see the words
On street signs: O void, avoid me.
From flying to fire, I’ve insulted all the gods
With my use of invention (I’m ashamed
To present you, Tumblr, this poem
After days of trying to unhurt myself
From the snow). By the next moon,
Drawn by lash or sword, I’ll be waiting
At the bus stop with my best face
And bouquet, my dream narratives
Faked and prepped to tell over
A fancy crystal dinner, bound to repeat
Myself because we’re still not equally free
To dream and speak of them
Then dream the same (which is to say,
I guess, that I want to dream in a world
Where all forms of dreaming have forms
With which to speak of them).
What ever happened to the names of dreams?
I think I lost them in soft snow,
Not knowing they were too small to keep
In my mouth. I want out like the last pack,
Blowing everything out coolly in a smoke ring
And never being dead enough
To meet their commitment.
Literally nothing is akimbo to me
As love for anything, particularly the words
For things — it’s almost as if the world
Lies before me splayed
As a farce of things and all I can do
Is mumble that it’s not lovely enough.
Everyday is an alarm to keep living,
Which is hard to do if you can’t
Even track the ceiling fan as darkness falls
Upon you like a wet sponge or like
How the Hudson stupefies me
As I try to return my doubts to its bottom
But then they float and I remember
That doubt is like winter and not meant
For me because it is not the end.
from “Coma Berenices” by John Ashbery
I’ve tried to imagine you as a purple future
lying a few feet ahead of me in a ditch
where the sun and wind are canted
and paralyzed by the time they arrive.
Does this mean that the royalty of love
is just a trope of food, music, or sex?
How blind are we if we just sputter
with laughter at that idea? Blinder
than blind some might say; some, though,
might say it’s a tenacity of eyes looking
past a thing that may not be retracted
once given. There are so many pictures
that should turn me to you and yet
I’d rather just text for a little while
and end things with a (kiss).
Desist! Our fight scenes have not reached
the proper level of fluid, graceful, violent,
gut-wrenching truth that would hurt anyone
but us to watch it. I see the whole sea
floor redshift from my window, a slow
carcass of infinite angles talking
to us in mid-parenthesis.
Giant Robot Fights -or- why you shouldn’t write a poem in sharpie on paper towel when you first wake up in the morning (because you’ll barely remember what you wrote and certainly won’t be able to read it)
There was so much music back then among the haunt of birds and rags of clouds left afoot; asking me why I find them meaningful is like asking me about coffee — all answers lead back to waking up ready to love an orange morning like sun was in my backseat; or like a head ready to be adventurous when it is more broken. Last night I dreamt of a hundred well-choreographed giant robot fights and a batch of perfect christmas gifts falling among the oily wounds and I guess that’s where a broken head can come from, too: among rags of clouds sliced out from the sky’s blade.