Nights spent on the moor with the shaman’s grandson
I hunt wolf spiders by the river and lightning’s shine
Clinging to these moments, desperate and hypochondriacal
I seek ground but find only mist beneath my feet
Cool spring blossoms around me, and I am growing old
Nineteen winters, they slip away like grains of sand
Too young to drink wine, but old enough to dance
I Viennese around a dark room in the wings of drama,
alone when my classes end
with the ghost upstairs and domovoi in the attic,
I haunt these broken halls
plink a melody on a weathered piano-
As Time Goes By, the Blue Danube,
off-key, as always, one note at a time.
I was never trained in music,
guitar taught me everything but notation.
We build cardboard castles in the moonlight
the existential crisis builds
I made a cross of saplings and wisteria
duck-taped it to the Chateau
We win first place, crush that angelic abode
a bit of me with the cardboard in the dumpster-
I’m losing pieces every day.
He is tall and slim like the Nuer
and I picture him in the African desert,
midnight skin etched across the heat.
“I think home isn’t a place, but a feeling.”
Tides lap the silt and we dream.
I write poetry to make sense of the hollowness.
Prepare for tests that don’t really exist
They matter, but only so much.
The dean lists me as a victor,
but I know what true ordeals bring.
It is looking into the crying heart of darkness and going,
My god, even you will be loved
it is feeding agony with your own blood
on your knees, broken as you weep.
It is two decades of nightmares and shards of truth
that only through the rolling hills of years
begin to make sense.
It is that I own nothing, and everything I grasp for
Because I had it all along. All along.
And the gods are mad and broken
My spiders sleep in an abandoned room
Mayflies freeze a thousand times over
revived from the dead as they dance
I pity animals. The way they are imprisoned.
I pity the things I become
I join him in his cage, rage with them.
Their poison silences the maggots.
The alf-boy slips through the willows
his hair wild as the Appalachian hills
we call like birds in the gloaming
speaking the language of the trees.
He carries a hat with a spider
sleeps with it under the moon.
I want to be like him, no edge
between myself and the dirt.
I want to write everything down
But there is no time, no means
No testament to my being.
And my gravestone will join rank and file
with the crushed dead in Judgement’s hall.
(But a book, I pray, has been written
Detailing my fall.)
I walk the paths of the Founding Fathers
breathe in the age of the stone.
The oak I sit under is eternal
And these poems are my only salvation.
The only sense in a maddening world.
I believe in reincarnation because I am selfish
and I want the chance to do it over again
Mind rages, I toss and turn
They say I should relax and move slowly
but my axis was off-kilter to begin
and this frenzied orbital would break Tycho’s nose.
But really, I’m just Kore in the fields,
spinning her circle dances,
dreaming my days away.
And I think of ending my life when I’m twenty seven
so I can blaze out and never be old.
And the psychosis slips under my skin
into my nightgown, flies scuttle across my limbs
the moon beats down like a straitjacket
and my disease is that I worry.
I am not mad, but asylums are private
and each of our hearts is in hell.