All nonsense cancels itself out
Late January. The sun is setting over the valley and the only thing that interests me is how can I check you have received everything I have sent you? In the past two weeks I have lost three important letters in the post. And what did you mean when you said: the time has come to put away our letters? Oh well. Most people say betrayal is bad but I say betrayal is just rubbish and nonsense.
Losing things levels us all out, too-- tossing stones into creeks, photos caught between pages of a novel, necklaces taken from mother’s bureau. These things catalysts
for what next, perhaps. But do not worry; your letters wait tucked in my jacket lining, slumbering quietly until a cooler day carries them nearer my chest and into focus.
It’s spring in Kansas. Birds chirp relentlessly and the pink Japanese magnolias out front weigh down the air. The baby next door’s fat legs dangle from his stroller and tomorrow
or the next day I will write another letter and pack in it the hazy sun and greetings from the cup-strewn lawn and men in too-large pick-up trucks.
This evening I filled in the remaining discussion between us and lost all sense of time. I know it’s unfashionable to say such things but for some time now I've had the feeling I'm dying and what I’d like (anyone reading this would think I was completely fucked in the head) is for you to ask me the same question over and over. Would it be reasonable to say you are in agony? No, I think it’s anguish actually. Hmm. Life is difficult but it has moments. Hmm.
This morning trucks rumbled on the boulevard. Green ribbons wrapped round trees turned in the gentle wind, and the cat hissed at bed sheets. This is a place you pretend does not exist.
These things I see before me -- can touch with hands or allow to linger on brow, while paper, stiff on fingers, lisps quiet not quite coherent. There are sugar and beets
and whole-wheat flour in my cupboard, and I would give them all to you if you asked. The days between us render things insubstantial, rotten due to miles of oceans and lack of salt.
I send you whispers, cotton-wrapped and gentle-stitched. Perhaps they can carry through another week, bring gray cover to warm days, loosen tongues to spill softer words.
Writing is completely pointless
Hi Bastard. Sometimes I
wish I were a truck driver
so I could just drive around
all day listening to music.
Life is funny (I’ve said
this before) and clever
but also disturbing. One
oughtn’t (I think) try to
make the soul seem more
important than it actually is.
(Who dares put a crown
on the universe?)
Having applied myself
(for some time now) to
the observation of the world
and of other people, I have
come to the conclusion
that there is nothing in
the human nature that is
insightful. My philosophy
is just to say exactly what
I please and it pleases me
to say that somebody
who has entered (as I have)
into a special relationship
with the world is (to a
certain extent) entitled
to shit on it. Why then
do you not just shit,
you ask. (Because he is
too timid or too stupid
Note: the final part of this poem includes a quote from Daniel Schreber’s Memoirs of my Nervous Illness.
Forget the crowns
I am sorry that your philosophy fails you
so often buckling rickety limbs and sending
you flailing into damp ground. Let’s keep
the trucks recreational and worry about other
things. The plant you left is dying, the house
still a mess from last night’s fête, and we don’t
think so much here about souls (those dusty remnants).
Why don’t you forget about crowns and the universe
and come over this afternoon for drinks? Sunlight
covers the backyard and warms the grass and you
might enjoy a break from your brain. We could
cast shadows across the neighbour’s fence
to antagonise the dog or just lounge undertree
and measure the passing day. I promise to treat
you more sweetly and whisper softly
to trace echoes and thoughts to conclusion.