“The feelings that hurt most, the emotions that sting most, are those that are absurd – The longing for impossible things, precisely because they are impossible; nostalgia for what never was; the desire for what could have been; regret over not being someone else; dissatisfaction with the world’s existence. All these half-tones of the soul’s consciousness create in us a painful landscape, an eternal sunset of what we are.”
The Yang Ming freighter is sailing into the bay on this warm December day. It’s that slow boat to China that as a kid I used to suggest people take a ride in whenever they incurred my displeasure. Now I tell people to fuck off. Age has its privileges… Though why off instead of on, in, up, down or sideways is anybody’s guess. Wikipedia or Urban Dictionary might have an entry for its etymology. I won’t bother to look it up.
There’s a boatload of tourists gargling about something vaguely tourist-like:
“Is that kiteboarding?”
The difference between kiteboarding, windsurfing and parasailing
is being expounded in eddy currents of annoyance.
I try but fail to tune it out.
“Wow! That is sooo kewl!”
someone finally exclaims.
Somehow I doubt it.
Thankfully, they all walk away.
That slow boat to China I used to cackle about
Would be inviting to stowaway on right now. Actually
I’ve been to China, I’d rather you were one
Of the treasures being freighted on the Yang Ming…
Do a reverse Shanghai to smuggle you into Berkeley,
But I doubt any freighter could contain you.
You are too large.
You and your Whitman-like multitudes.
Don’t mind me.
I’m all grouse and crunch today.
I’m just so tired of tiptoeing
around every mirror’s reflection.
They are too fragile and exact.
A mirror’s window opens up
To a frozen lake of inevitability
And I refuse to believe in Fate.
I want to freewheel or free will or
Free Willy or something or someone.
I’m so tired of letting all these snowflakes
Of couldabeen shouldabeen maybewillcan
Improbabilities dissolve on my hot little tongue.
My heart’s eyelashes flutter, I try to still
The palpitations with my hands.
This is no time for flirtation.
Get me to a nunnery.
Before I know it, I’ll schism into 81 heteronyms
Just to escape an avalanche of myself
Like Pessoa did
But, let’s face it,
Pessoa was an eccentric genius
I’m just a goddamn trainwreck.
Fuck fernweh and saudade
and every soft-bellied lily-liverism in between them.
Give me brick and mortar.
I’ll build another wall to bash my head against.
I’ll encase my feet in concrete
Have the cotton from my brain washed, wrung and woven
into cloth, so you can wear it on your head as a doo-rag
when you’re throttling thunderbolts and sweating hard.
Draw and quarter my mind,
Rend me cerebellum from cerebrum
Use my brainstem as a television antenna
In the next town you’re in
An ice pick
To mix your drinks with
I’d love to take part in your intoxication
Wheel your Trojan Horse over here
I’d welcome your Greeks bearing gifts
You wouldn’t even have to attack
Anything is better than this…
I’m not doing myself nor anyone else
Any good with this instrument of my absurdity
Rattle the bars of my skullcage
All my chords are tuned to the key of melancholy.
Your words send my head into a tailspin
I need to
Stop. Twirling. Stat!
I become a dumb animal
Panting then stunned
Into the dizzying face of your sun
You make me comfortably numb
I don’t know how many jolts
Or bolts or volts of electricity
It takes to kill a woman and revive her,
But however many it is, Dr. Plutorious,
You’ve generated enough energy
To murder and resurrect
Choirs and choirs of me.
Again, again, and again.
My angels would never stop singing your note.
I’d have the key of D vibrating through my wings –
all my veins strung up as harp-strings
I’d rise in a flurry of you, floating like kisses on the moon
Spiral-galaxing into our wake.
My Milkway caramelized
My gravity magnetized
In your photon propagation
Whether by space,
By land, air or sea
Just don’t send Paul Revere’s ghost
There is no safe realm for me.
I carry my want like a fucking albatross
Dangling around my neck, suckling on my tits.
Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink
I surf la onda electronica
Smiling and laughing in Life’s crosshairs
When I’m sure people are aiming at me
Insisting every bullet fired is only a forefinger
On the hair-trigger of my insouciance
If you can’t fool yourself,
Who can you fool?
Just don’t ask
Because I won’t tell
I want to be soft, so soft for you…
To bury my soul
At your Wounded Knee
Come in me like a river
And when you’re cold and tired
I will ghost dance ice into fire
Your poetry always unhinges me,
My doorways furrow into wormholes
You’re compass-arrow North-pointing rational.
I, however, am cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs
Just irrational enough to swallow a captain’s hook
I still clap when Peter Pan asks the audience to,
If only just in case fairies do exist & Tinkerbell
Really needs a little extra moral support to live.
Before I forget
I made a Christmas wreath
From all my failed organs:
Starting with my heart
And ending with my brain.
Sprinkle it with mistletoe, then
Nail it on your church door,
Like old Martin Luther might do.
Make their failure the tenets
Of a new irreligion or better yet
Serve them on brioche,
Spread them warm and wide
Like I would spread myself
If I were there with you.
I won’t be needing them here,
Not in this nethersphere.
You see, I just played strip poker
With my superego and the self-righteous
Bitch beat me.