Maybe 5 minutes?

Re-taping the nearly flying away A4 page on the green street light base. A voice from behind. What are you advertising? I thought I was in trouble. Uhhhh, it’s a call for poetry submissions… Are you a poet? You’re too young. You don’t have the fire in your eyes! I stared. He stared. Studying me, he seemed to question himself as the words left his mouth. HA! I almost thought. No, no—I publish. Ahhh. Here it comes. At first hesitant, too inquisitive. Who’s your favorite poet? Alejandra Pizarnik. Alejandro? Alejandra. Pizarnik. From Argentina. Hmmm. But what about: names names names names. I barely kept up. But could complete a couple titles on the tip of his tongue. We began to like each other. Animation increased. Comfort rose. He caught his dad reading in secret the Henry Miller he scolded him for reading. I just read Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch. Ah, yeah, but the one—Tropic of Cancer—he hated. Jane Janette! Jane Janette? From France. Existentialist. Janette? Janette. Genet. Jean Genet. Never heard of him. He was born a criminal, but man! He didn’t study, you don’t want to study, under these people in English departments who got turned down by publishers. That one guy at USF. I went to USF. You know that one guy? No, I wasn’t in Creative Writing. Took poetry with Zapruder though, and music history with Thiam. You see, I went to the MoMa recently, a friend gave me a ticket, very expensive, and this woman was trying to guide me and interpret the art for me, are you kidding me?! What could she tell me?! Yeah… you gotta get it straight. Genet read two pages of Proust and scoffed: I can do better than that! Ha! He was an antisemite, but the writing, it’s different. I brought up Knut Hamsun, Growth of the Soil, his eyes lit up: NATURE! Yes! Yes! You know di Parma? Diane? Yeah. Yes! Incredible! She just died. Yeah, recently, huh? Yes. Thomas Gunn? Uh, no. You don’t know Thom Gunn!? No, no… sounds somewhat familiar, but… not ringing a bell. Ahhhhh—you must read him. I saw him on Haight and Cole, at that cafe, back when it used to be something. Now, it’s nothing, just runaways, after that one girl—the mayor of Chicago’s daughter—came here and made street life cool. Once, back in the day, I saw the Hells Angels and Hare Krishnas on Haight get in a fight. Guess who won? The whites of his eyes, laughing in interrogation. My face grimaced back, I knew it wasn’t: Er, the Hells Angels…? Nope! The Hare Krishnas scared ’em outta there. Those massive bald guys! You know that woman who writes the stuff they sell even in the supermarkets? At Safeway and what not? She lives right here. She asked the city for 12 parking permits! 12 cars! Her books are trash. Ah, pop stuff? Yeah, pop. She lives in Paris half the year—you don’t want to hear about her. Charlie pawing at my calf to go. Names names name name. It became harder and harder to keep up. The accent stirring away. Trying, nodding, ah yeah… I’m from Ethiopia. Ahh, super cool. He looked at me like I hadn’t a clue about Ethiopia—I don’t. Where do you live? Right around the corner… Okay! Come find me at Cafe Oasis, I’m there most nights, I live here above the laundromat. Okay, I’ll find you. I need a notepad next time I see you… Yes yes yes. I’ll give you some books. I began to walk up the block as he turned to my puny sign and held out his pointer finger: SUBMIT YOUR POEMS: spectrapoets.org ❤ I shouted from behind, I’ll give you a copy! He smiled.

Come in and read

He’s practically ancient. The only one I’ve known to recite lines and lines and lines, all memorized. Putting my lame typed letters to shame. The isolation they feel, alone on a page. Most likely to be thrown away. Sometimes transcribed, like these——made 3D——more space junk transmit from a screen. Regardless, I write. Trace something dark across the light. He wants me to read him something I wrote, but I write for no one. I write so as not to speak. Not to breathe into language, but to let my thoughts leak symbols and die in ink. It’s calming, I write myself into a trance. I don’t need, I don’t seek, I don’t reach for anything beyond these keys, what’s right in front of me. But my continuum, these lines, still somehow stretch beyond me. Right now, nothing more, see, not even the errors matter, but before him, even on the phone, if I tried to speak into these words, I’d tremble, over-correct a self-imposed mess with excess. Apologies. With this, none of that. See, what I write is just for that, to make space. Besides, why would anyone want to hear all these voices? I write to prevent. He won’t hear a flow of consonance, just persistent clicking. I like the way it sounds, the typing alone. And as long as he’s reading me, we’ll never be together. 

few weeks back

Quarter tab panic attack. ~~ Everything is nonsense. Only comedy makes sense. Art maybe, but less and less. Only art without a point, but isn’t that the point? Art always has a point. No, something else. Fuck. This has a point. These words are the epitome of a point. A failed attempt, at that. Nevermind. It’s not having a point that irks. It’s certain ones. Regurgitations. I’m not arguing for pointlessness, that too would be nonsense. Everything is both and simultaneously, and infinitely, pointed. Tapped, touched. Connected. Whether it wants to or not. Disregard desire. But what makes anything different? Not the ones I see more and more often. I guess that’s the problem with humans and everything: the more and more often. Maybe immoral to think these kinds of thoughts. Anti-humanist in a sense. It’s probably a good thing I’m not a bioethicist with a fancy Monash degree. Western-moralist-problem-seeking. I prefer to glance outside of us—afraid I’m inside far too much. When I drove by those two dead crows on the side of the road and looked up to see a city before me, I regret aspects of humanity. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. We fucked up. What can I do other than off myself? What’s left? Pinker says the numbers say we’re getting better at being together, but at what cost? Chessmaster, tell me, should I sacrifice myself for the game? One less white pawn in the way. So much art these days is about being of a certain way, but we all are. // Too separate. Too insane. Too alone. More than ever. Blowing up his Spam folder. Confessions of love, pathetic pleas, apologies. Wanting him to see. There’s no point. Ah! No point. No point. But there always is, even if it thinks it’s not. Nothing entirely pointless. Or could it? Maybe everything’s pointed. Even from afar, touching. Dancing around some center together. Both must be, so much relies on each. To dance, that must be it, all must… no—not must—that’s a bad word. Too sure of itself. But, then again, one without the other seems unlikely, even in spontaneous eruption. Could it be? Didn’t it form elsewhere before piercing through? That’s it, as it was. Not just an explosion. A drop out a hole. That was it. What’s the point? Now my mind’s just going to strange places. Haven’t been touched for seven months. Since Sam. I’m starting to go mad. I really am. This is it. You made it! Welcome! We’re here! Madness. Everything but all of it. How embarrassing. How selfish. We are! We are! Right? Even if an Ego is writing this, yours is reading it too, isn’t it? And able enough to think itself around words, how undesirably, how much they need it. To get somewhere. Going! That’s what it is. Always going. Never content. But see, I knew this. I’ve known all of this. Or thought I did. That’s the depression seeping in. The ever inward mirror. Looking down. Picking at it. Sad. Stupid. A girl who was both loved and unloved. She craved so much until she ripped it all out. 

little phantom trip

Someone has invented this sinister plan: a return to the archaic gaze, a going toward the expectation figured by two blue eyes in the black dust. Silence is temptation and promise. Finale of my initiation. Beginning of every end. It’s of myself I speak. It happens to be necessary to go only once to see if just once again you’ll be granted the vision. We die of fatigue here. We’d rather not move. We’re exhausted. Each bone and each limb recalls its archaic sufferings. We suffer and crawl, dance, we drag ourselves. Someone has promised. It’s of myself I speak. Someone can’t take it anymore.”

-Alejandra Pizarnik
The Galloping Hour