Two Poetic Clusters
I. Some Thoughts on “Being-in” a Relationship
There were moments when
Reading between the lines meant
I was merely “going there” out of spite.
It was in one sense a perpetual hysteria.
And oh how you relished and delighted
In calling me out. To gaslight, they say.
I was a bridge, and Gloria would say it’s my back.
I’m no Mestiza
But I know when fuckery is afoot.
I just fail to act.
I don’t like how it makes me look
To be under someone’s strange spell,
Dazed and dizzy–to be is dizzying, like:
Stepping off a moving platform, or
The sudden drop from a theme park ride, or
The thematic rise of an orchestra of feeling, of
Falling, stomach knotted, dismissed.
Then, of course, there’s this residue of sentimentality–
The long road back to confidence
The building up of self-esteem racked with doubt
That it could ever resurrect–again!
For this wasn’t the first and only time, friend (can I call you that?)
You have made a profit from me
And I have been the happily exploited,
The Marxist laborer
Bad faith, bad air!
Let me breathe and then see how my lungs
Can incapacitate, how words can fling from this tongue
Whose use you consigned,
And let my language, let my speech,
Rip, tear, and make aware I am not to be fucked with.
There is no “roar” or feverish scream,
Only the ongoing roll of thunder
that follows the flash of what you have done–
Since silence no longer has lease.
And I have finally revived enough, uncovered the veil enough,
And seen something most hideous–
That is, I was right all along.
They were right all along.
And rather than be burdened, I rejoice.
Cat and Anima
Tell me how it is possible
That this cat,
This tiny wonder of a beast,
Would end up being smarter, kinder, caring,
Than you, my “undying love and lover”?
At least a cat’s solipsism is honest.
Regret is the profound forgetting
That, as a moment of action has passed,
A constellation and eternal flow of time have not.
Oh, how this nothing touches
And undoes every past “now is the time”
But there will always be this other “now”
This other “time.”
And I’m no pollyanna.
I’m no “wait not for death cometh.”
I’d rather embrace the possibility of both nothing and everything
Than return to that apologia to absolution
I have called forgetting.
Queer Fuck App
A queer asks the readers of his profile:
Whatever happened to dates?
I want to start and ask–
Who is this author and why was a date ever a happening?
What is the essence of a date, my queer?
Is it that we please ourselves in conversation?
Slake our thirst with spirits or beer?
Be with others? Some ingrained instinct?
To court, and learn to court, betray ourselves and secrets?
Is the essence then to unconceal that which we hold most precious–
Like a Pauline revelation?
Like a small fugitivity to the soul?
When do we essentially date?
Out of what cavern, what dark corner does
The essence is to unconceal reveal itself?
It is no small thing to meet.
I believe in the power of small wonders
Like the intra-action of forms of life
Like the spark of a mood and the flames of passion.
But now is the time for banality.
The -ing of our selves: Text-ing, Sext-ing, Dat-ing.
The program-ing of our love-ing.
But never be-ing. God never that.
It seems more extraordinary to remain alert
To be present in the midst of all this,
The mist that hangs over trees,
The smell of grass, rock, and soil–fuck, even the murk of our
Garbage bins, the ones that scatter a city’s streets,
Should inspire a kind of of of “hey look! There! Here!”
“Here was life!” We would scream.
But banality is the silence we forgive.
The lost extraordinary of living ordinary. Here.
II. How Modern, our Anxiety
Bracing oneself has become second nature.
I was reading somewhere that we have all, as humans,
(What do philosophers call us? “The subject?”)
That we have all learned to be hyper-vigilant.
It’s a “sign of the times.”
It’s the effect, symptom and subject of “neoliberalism.”
But is that the sign to be read?
Is that the memory-to-be, a future anterior, as they say,
That I should look back
And remember the constant;
The invariable and independent;
The crushing weight
Of that bracing and spate of vigilance.
Stimmung mit Unheimlichkeit
I read somewhere that love is a state of mind
And not exterior to ourselves.
It’s not “really” there–we posit it.
But moods are like things themselves.
They capture us, ensnare the senses,
Make important those things that matter.
Oh, if we could see that the mattering of matter
Is the effect of mood,
Then a state of mind
Has no distinction from quartz, to the rose,
The body, our pleasure–
And what is more exterior than fucking?