Daily Archives: November 3, 2014

I Will Soon Read Borges Again

Originally posted 1/19/2013.

I will soon read Borges again.
When I do I will wear dark clothes and glasses,
eat pork on rough bread,
smoke an unending series
of bowls of cheap tobacco from a cheap pipe.

I will soon re-read Joyce 
but only in the spring and only upon
completion of the works of Borges.  
I shall wear a cloak, if I can locate
a store that sells cloaks.  A cloak and

a whiskeyflask cane.  A cloak and
thick soled shoes and a whiskeyflask
cane.  Yes.  I will resume reading
Borges, then Joyce.  And after that,
Djuna Barnes; then, Wallace Stevens.

For Barnes and Stevens I will change
to a suit of seersucker, and I will not iron it
ever, even the shirt, even the hems; I will feed
on rumcakes and seedcakes and cupcakes
in public cafes, with my books tucked under my chair.

I will be done with reading
Borges and Joyce and Barnes and Stevens
soon enough. Then I will buy a home
and lie around naked and not read anything
I don’t want to read.  

All those trappings I affected!
I must have looked ridiculous. What the hell
was all that about? I will cleanse by dressing in sweats 
and reading John Grisham in French 
while downing supermarket croissants till I pop.

I won’t care who sees
my wide ass in the library
when I am checking out books on getting ahead in real estate,
and books on Stephen King and Patricia Cornwell:
not their works, mind you;

books about their clothing and diet.  
Clothes, it is said,
make the man,
you are what you eat, and maybe
you are what you read.  

Well, I don’t want to be anything anymore.
Want to be dumb, anonymous, devoid
of a reading list or its worsening symptoms. 
Just gimme a burger, a roll in the hay, a dead sleep
on a dirty mattress. An easy way to vanish.

Seen From A Small Boat

Originally posted 5/27/2012.

Three look over the side of their
soon to be foundered boat,
staring out at the storm, down at the sea:

what’s coming up
from the dark water —
corpse, crab, blue pearl?

The teacher says,  
I spy only the blue pearl,
lustrous mystery rising. 

The practical one
seizes on how the crab, once seized,
seizes back — seizes on deniable pain.

The undertaker says,
my concern is the corpse.
Wash it clean. Swathe it. Sink it.

Which is it?
Maybe there’s nothing
down there 

threatening or promising anything,
just memory
playing with shadow,

trying to claim its place
before the storm
begins to work at drowning.

Lazarus Dawn

Originally posted 10/15/2007.

The lump in my chest
still moves according to the body’s plan,
but it had its own plan once.

What did my heart think about
back when it still could think?
It’s been sleeping for so long — 

there were times
when I had a glimpse of something
(breeze in a poplar; a skirt wrapping
around a leg in mid stride;  tears trickling
on a man’s hard cheek)
and my mind called up
a poltergeist ache within 
but I thought it had settled there because 
atrophy had made room for it
and not because I thought
my heart was awake.

I still cannot easily believe
in a Lazarus dawn but
there is something here
I cannot deny
early in the morning
when I turn toward her
breathing beside me;
something directed outward,
something that wants to be heard — 

there is a knocking in the tomb.