I Google my name and your name. I wrote another poem that started like that but fuck it, I like this poem better. I Google swift touch. I Google Swiffer Wet Jet. There are coupons on the website. These coupons make the Swiffer Wet Jet affordable. I will buy two in case one…
Because I live in south Florida I store cans of black beans and gallons
of water in my closet in preparation for hurricane season.
I throw a hurricane party in January. You’re my only guest.
We play Marco Polo in bed. The sheets are wet like the roof caved in.
There’s a million of me in…
When you talk to yourself, you talk to the things
and of the things that are so bitter,
no other conversation is possible;
both bear death, both end blind.
Here the east sings and the west sinks pints,
fruit explodes with ripeness,
ooze from palm and rubber tree,
even the orchid runs with individual justice.
You all over, you once again open to all,
the final hour, and you soar and soar,
then one more song, and you sink, transfixed,
you know existence, and you hold your peace.
—Gottfried Benn, from “Despair”
Art Credit Zdravko Mandic
Stream of consciousness while watching the inauguration and drinking coffee.
How I spent last week.
I wrote something little for the Rumpus. The prompt was a ‘storm story.’ Here is mine.
* * *
We wake up giddy. The wind rattles the house, shrieks Good morning! The storm is coming! Something loose and delicate creaks inside the walls. It’s exciting to pretend it’s the end of days.
I come and peek out your bedroom window and the sky is milky and heavy, half-stirred. Let’s go.
For days, the Weather Channel has provided our soundtrack, moody and apocalyptic. We prepare willingly—carry water for blocks, stockpile ice, charge devices. We are ready for life to be interrupted.
The streets are empty in the grey morning. The weary trees know something is up.
I kick leaves as we head to the pier at N. 5th street in Williamsburg, the wind ripping my hair back into long wet tangles. Yellow police tape blocks the pier and we duck under without pause. Today is made for breaking rules.
Standing at the edge of the frothing water, we stage our own weather report. Microphone in hand, we issue warnings, report on the strength of the wind, measure how quickly the water rises around our ankles.
Back at the apartment, the rain turns from insistent to frenzied.
When night falls, you disappear for a moment, reappear gently carrying St. Anthony of Padua, who you’ve lifted from his permanent place in the garden.
Placing him on the kitchen counter, you construct a makeshift shrine, surrounding the saint of lost objects with glowing dollar store candles. The lights flicker, turn off.
In the morning, we will see what has been lost.
I like an ending that’s both a door and a window.
This time of year the nights fall longer.
So grow a spine or catch cold.
The winter months, they do make you feel stronger
But in the end, it’s all getting old.
All my life I’ve had goals to go after, goals
in a molten distance. And just the way snows
in the distance, dense and white among groves
of bare trees, lessen as I approach and show
not white, but a mix of mud and leaves among rows
of breathing trees, the fantasies that rose
from my young mind, guarded against my foes’s
mocking by my own mocking, lessen. I know
what I’ve approached, and I am very frightened. It shows
in my slipping face in the melting present. Goals
far off are fire and ice, like a walk through snow
toward a blood-orange sunset. But there is no
perfection like that in coming up close, no
purity in intimacy. Embracing the world, nose
to brow with what we’ve got and lost, hugging old sorrows
as they fade into mud and leaves, is like shedding clothes,
is like lovers saying, lets-take-off-our-clothes.
The world is made flesh in their bodies: does is knows.
The world is made flesh by the snows
fading, then merging into mud and leaves, goals
of long ago emerging among trees in row
in a distance molten as the world comes up close.
—Molly Peacock, “The Distance Up Close”
Art Credit Seth Fluker