Sunday, September 23, 2007

we all have our slashes

Here's the cover to a tiny book that I made in forty copies recently. It's one poem in an eight-page book. Check it out! If you want a copy, you can either email me, and I'd be happy to get one to you, or you can see me in New Orleans for a reading on October fourth and get one there!

For those who are curious, here's the text (although, this gives you no impression of how it looks in the book):

we all have our slashes

a guilt trip permission slip
—leaving tomorrow
on the first train to any low
cal diet
—she wants to go, but isn’t sure she’ll fit

( am i too fat or too short?
( am i disobedient when i fail a drug test
with only oral contraceptives in my system?

i don’t remember eating that
i don’t remember eating yesterday
i remember it was here but
i don’t remember more than that

that’s what happens when the mind turns to gloopy stuff
from a lack of use
( can that happen all at once?
my grand mother used to say if you forgot what you were going to say, it was a lie
i remember lying all the time
i remember lying to you
i remember not being very good at it
i’ll never make a good poker player
so, i’ll stick to trivia
then my mind doesn’t turn to gloopy stuff

i remember dark scans & not being interested in the content
i’m just not content to read about certain things
especially when they build the irony of an erroneous situation
( she’s usually a good-humored type, but not today
nor yesterday, come to think of it

sometimes i feel like everyone is talking about me
& i can’t hear it but i walk into the room
& it’s there—a distinct impression
& i know i’m guilty of something terrible but
i don’t remember what
i know it’s not too much lithium or gold or carbon or what-have-you
& no one believes me when i tell them
they just look at me with those eyes
you know those eyes—the ones that belie the mouth that says
i believe you
then, they turn around & talk about me
i can’t hear it but i know what they’re saying

sometimes i don’t know what paranoia is
because you told me once
i’m afraid you were just trying to hurt me
what did you mean when you said
she got what she asked for
i would never ask you to hit me
but i think you would do it anyway
& tell me it was what i wanted
i don’t remember what i want but
i think it’s not that i don’t like pain
unless it’s emotional & i can sit & sift through it for hours
just like failing a drug test

i want to be well but i want you to do it
i don’t want to take the responsibility
you’ll do that for me, right
you’ll make me well but not hold me accountable
i was hoping i could get through this on your back
like a monkey without money or a place to sleep
i have lots of company, though
they wouldn’t like having you around
because you’d talk about them just like you talk about me
they know what i’m guilty of but won’t tell me
they’re afraid you’ll say it loud enough so i can hear


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