Inside the talking room.
Salted peanuts as subterfuge.
Gaudy shades of standing lamps
to vitiate light, imply for us
Narratives easily made
more distressed (the latest style:
ragged, not rage)
by pulling out a few upholstery tacks.
easier than humility.
An entire human life could fit between
snapping the wall switch on
But I have a crick in my neck
trying to catch the wall plaster’s crack
Room inside the talk for two?
Bring thimbles and vest buttons and
jam jars of trapped atmosphere.
Staying as a Form of Departure
It’s best to leave, so you won’t know
how the house breaks apart
right down the middle
when the machines lift it from the
north face. The garage
was never that strong. (That
was an expected break.) But the pile,
who could imagine the way
it looks like every other pile?
All our old things cry out
in bad foreign accents
beneath the straying fragments. One
could almost imagine them
coming together, forming some new
town or sequence. Some new teetering horse
wheeling in. Because
the past is always a silly excuse
leaving a trail of monkeys across the lawn.
You never really know
until you get them away from people
how much you’re going to care
for rock collections
and plastic forks. Oh my beautiful
life. I’ll spend my whole life
in tentative footsteps, then, listening
to the weather working,
believing the drapes and sequins.
The apparitions of sentiment.
Magical fish bones.
If You Hadn’t Stayed the Departure, I Wouldn’t Have Formed.
Even if “departure as a form” is only possible
in the imaginal
where our precious “houses” turn into “horses”
to be lost in the pile under “plastic forks”
before the poem ends.
You’re right, every “break” does feel “expected,”
after the fact. In any backwards glance,
everything in the stack is gray as fatalism.
Have we the courage still
to hunt for the next “magical fish bone”?
I’ll show you mine, if you’ll show me yours.
I did glimpse a teetering horse, when you
wheeled him in
with your gentle qualifier of ‘some’.
Thanks for “leaving a trail of monkeys across the lawn”
in case I might follow.
I suspect that what “you [& I] never really know”
has slipped again, for a nightly prowl,
out the back door, which will always slam when it closes,
even though the poem’s own ending
and sweetly muddied with the beautiful footsteps
that will never make listening for them