exhaustion

my fingers won’t uncurl — it’s so cold

my thoughts, they don’t care to flex

or stretch or wander or flip

yet still possess their tendency to flop

i sometimes wonder if people get

tired on the top of a diving platform

or if it is a petty, ill-conceived disease

afflicting only the procrastination-prone

the writers, the applicants, the submittors

i am utterly sure, however,

that exhaustion is a condition

of my wholehearted recovery!

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imagine a writer who understands exactly how each novel turns out

sort of a fantasy of mine, really,

but spending time with my family

i would sell my golden shoes,

my fast feathered legs

would fetch a price

there are traders in the market

who slow it all down

hold on with quick breaths

closed eyes

learn to love

raising shame

it’d be a good, no great, movie title:

[inset here] heavy sighs

finally alone

i remember a woman who gave me

rilke’s poems about swans than betrayed me

it’s a good thing i didn’t end up slitting my wrists

just the thought of me

[and cut]

dear mom

i am so scared of losing you; i can’t even be in the same room

when you wash the dishes — watch television — fold laundry

i walk around scared — scared that i might lose you

what tumor?  it’s benign, they say — so me, i’m not worrying!

i get angry when you tell me anything — i’m just a shell behind my glasses

i shut down, get more lonely, bury myself in parties and long nights, books

and television, girls and writing, work and friends,

i walk around doing ordinary things — live in the room next to yours

never in the same room you’re in, but i want to be close to you

not next to you!

i am a coward, my friends and brother and sister

they all think i’m cruel (and a coward)

i suffer — the barely acknowledged — burning away 20 odd years

cigarettes down my throat; filtered, light, and tarred

running into myself, blocking myself, resisting myself

so i will never ever have to stop, can’t let myself think

the day will come — as all days do —

when i lose you.

at last you’re a revolution

secret afternoons are the worst

you know nothing good is happening

in the bathroom

close your eyes

hoping for a protector

nobody comes

and your body isn’t your own

anguish comes in small beads of sweat

from hairy arms

those are not your own

no sacred places in repeated spaces

hope comes as you release your mind

into wild and tumbling dreams

at last you’re a revolution

leaving your own self behind

thanks

how do i find the time?

every day

to be brave

every day

another closet

another container

a different way

lee iacocca

said that if you died with 5 real friends

then you’ve had a great life

i’m okay with two

one for each hand

i’d squeeze and say “i love you”

that way passing

wouldn’t be so hard

wisdom is kind of like that

something i’d hold onto

even with sweaty palms.

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