We stepped inside.
- Slipshod into the future while feet are stuck in the present. Envy feet, envy me.
- Just m_________ and c_____, he said.
- And for a while, all the poems I wrote were full of that hunger. And I couldn’t write away from it.
- Frances and her dissertation on ocean literature. Pentcheva’s brilliance, Hess’s dubious face. All of these women in a room and just one man at the center: an old man. With beautiful chess pieces, and passing game.
- I just want to be touched, I said. No you don’t, he said. I said: I want someone to read to me a là dust-spirit-ash-rose, and then—I want to be touched.
- Let’s keep language out of it. I won’t kiss you, nor make any gestures that could possibly be symbolic. Are we agreed?
- J stringing up persimmons, all around the house. Went on a long walk for such ripe fruit. I could just imagine it. How much did he eat. How many duffels bags. And who.
- "I’ve gotten used to it," said Matt. Palantir’s buzzkill caf, the whirring hardwood factory, the gladless food, the terracotta army of Pocky-Clif-Bar-Builder-Luna-Kind-Bar, the mess of Magic cards on the frat-boy carpet, a mussed bed, a mass of glass bottles and two curious eyes.
- He said: you want to be walked home, to have your eyes closed, and to be kissed on the forehead.
- Maybe so.
In metaphor there is only probability.
Two Dreams, Recently
1. A palace-like spread of white marble, with the veins translucent. Arrived for Anderson’s Nietzsche class, on the fourth floor. Loped up to the elevator: the button up-lit from behind. Blue. In the elevator, a green glow like a meditating heart. Deep, deep within, then swept out onto the landing. A pile of antiques in the corner: hardwood chairs, rocking horses, etc. The kind of furniture Tallent might have picked up, or been gifted. Pressed ear to the two hardwood doors: nothing. Then, in the corner, Luxi with a notebook, for some reason beckoning. Flipped through it: my writing on every page, including a scrawl in every direction: Michelle. Michelle. Michelle. When are you coming home? I flipped through her notebook, mystified, until a smaller notebook slipped out: the pink cover, the beagle, the flowers that I remembered. It was my notebook. The second it slipped out, I woke up. 3:15PM—when the class was beginning.
2. “THE VIETNAM WAR” on a menu in the recurring mall. I ordered something with an IRISHMAN, something like rice with a souring turn.
a man has touched
a woman, she becomes
Having then been
swerved into, or treaded,
as by arcs of faceless light…
Who knows how long
we lay there, breathing,
roving over, closed
and bounded? The hair,
cropped close to his chest,
like a migration
of addled animals. ‘Look,’
I said, as we lay in tandem,
‘at the invisible south
which makes something
of you.’ ‘Look,’ he said,
‘at the light which gathers here,
like a codex on fine skin.
So too must we gather ourselves.
So too must we not repeat.’
Ken Fields, “The Poem as Two Poems”
I’m scared I’ll wake up in the lake,
without my ankles. Then,
with the stretch-marks
of car lights, properly skid
across the water-skin,
and me. I’m scared of you,
deep crow in the hovel,
UK pavilion of seeds,
and yours. As if falling
were not necessary, but only
attempted; like lying next
to someone new,
knowing you’ll love him more
if you’re carrying something warm:
a lantern, a curse.