His scowl sets hearts aflutter, unwinds our shell of self-control
Fueling fantasies he could be our lover, our leader
A lion among men
Oh dear he smiles
And the dreams unwind and reveal how common
How unsubstantial he truly is
So we move on, seeking to worship others equally unworthy
But better marketers
Who know at least to hide the upturn of their mouths.
He’s the kind of guy whose stories always begin boldly, so auspiciously seductive.
Oh my god this is going to be so I don’t know what’s the word? Great? Yes so great…
The narrative unwinds in vague mumbles that leave you deflated and bored
Ruing your wasted time
We want so badly to love him
And in the end underneath it all we do
But he doesn’t stick in our minds with the passion our hopes had dreamed for him
A disappointing soap opera star met at the grocery check-out
Bags of organic candy
The lonely generic dandruff shampoo
It’s a shame and we shake our heads at the unnerving tragedy
How come some people just can’t get their shit together and live up to what we expect in them?
Shame shame shame shake shake shake
Hello, mirror, good morning.
The silence in the hours after the party has ended is my favorite time in this house
Steeped for years in conversations high
In armchair psychology as the drinks are poured
As glasses of ice, assorted cheeses find their sweat
Among laughter and fevered wishes for more such encounters
Plans etched in hot breath and cracker spittle, vapors of champagne
Once those voices have settled and all are on that sad journey home on a night somehow darker than all others
I find peace and hope
It does not occur to me to sweep or wipe or alter the lighting to expose the antiseptic reality in which I actually live
The moment is perfect and why I throw parties to begin with
Basking in the glow of hours-dead vibrations, proud.
There’s something to smoothing the edges out
To ceasing unnecessary concerns
It feels good to have lived these many lifetimes in this short lifetime
And remain alive
It feels good to hold you knowing you’ve lived lifetimes too
And still chose me and continue to choose
I may count my blessings but I don’t always keep track of the balance
And there is something to that endeavour we call record keeping
That balances things (and not just check books!)
The effort keeps the going smooth despite all the noise thrown our way
Helps us find a silence in this embrace
This journey together
In the wonderful afterglow we all seek
His eyes open seeing nothing, seeking nothing
He half-whispers to her
I wonder if I could count all the stupid things I’ve said.
He chuckles. In my life.
I remember more of those moments than anything smart I’ve ever said.
You must have said something smart tonight.
I don’t remember.
You must have. I’m here aren’t I?
Why worry about this now?
I’m curious. I like statistics.
It seems a waste, dwelling on your shortcomings.
Yes but that’s just what comes naturally.
I know other things that just come naturally.
How many women have you slept with?
I complete the dozen.
How many have you kissed?
Well. Let me see. Middle school and high school were quite busy.
I was pretty kissable.
But not as…
Fuckable? No. I’m OK with that. I don’t need, I haven’t needed volume, you know? Sex — making love is the most of myself I can give, the most open. This is exactly who I am in the moment I feel the most good, the most me, and this is how I express that joy. This is how I express myself. Only a few should see that.
Only a dozen?
That sounds about right
I’m not even going to ask you…
I’m not even going to tell you.
What was your name again?
They hold their smiles until an acausal connecting principle, as yet undefined, compels them to neutrality.
And there they remain, silently, until sleep consumes them.
The factory of your mind is closing
The light fading
Like the dying arc of an ancient sun in another universe we’ve yet to find
Take me there with you
So that I may shout my echoes among the damp white walls and abandoned work stations
So that I may suffer the reverberations in my chalky bones and decay
As we promised
In that universe we’ve yet to find
You tell me a blast of light bathed you
And you were saved.
Salvation, baby, salvation.
You salivate as if you’re bathing me in something novel and unique.
All light blasts.
From your bathroom bulbs to your annoying book light shifting every time you turn the page or adjust your weight to find the cool spot in our unmarried king-sized bed, ah, just imagine the sin.
Blasting faster than your dreams conceive in their darkest of deep dark dreams.
Bathing all of us baby.
So next time try to tone down your enlightened enthusiasm and bring me something I can use, man.
Singe the empty space you occupy
Sing a vibration or two
Ruin some bee’s day
Rue the rain you never see
And wilt home to dust for your encore you silly infinite thing
The last time I saw you, you were sitting Indian style on the thin corporate carpet of a faraway conference room
Why won’t anyone assign me my goddamn spirit animal? Goddamnit!
Your overdone face melting into deep sudden awareness of your own irrelevance
Known to all but you
I couldn’t find you on Facebook yesterday and now I wonder how you are
I’d like to tell you that you were a good secretary and that I only wished the best for you
Despite everything you probably think of me
I want to tell you that I always saw you as a lamb in wolf’s clothing and I’m hoping you’ve found that spirit guide
found your way
found better makeup
And are free
I broke the rules like your nose, punchy
They were in my way like you stole my girl
They were conceived against me like that turd and your mother
Meant to help the well-off only like your country club Christmases
But they trapped me like your pussy jiujitsu
So here I am in jail like all your broken dreams
And I dream of freedom like your daily bike ride to the beach and job
You lose like I win
Just deserts, punchy
She clapped her hand to her heart
She sighed not inaudibly and closed her eyes to fight the imagined tears
Mouth closed, back arched, breasts out.
This is rare behavior for her, thank god
Emerging exclusively at poetry readings
When she wants the poet to know how much her pampered heart has broken
Oh, this means so much, this means so
So much to me.
Her aggressively passive response trumping the toil the pauper endured
Capping the night
Without ever purchasing his book.
She’s my wife
She’s the reason I’m a banker
And not a poet