Do you take in less food on holiday
and never cramp from exercise at all?
Do you disdain to warm up any way,
avoid a stretch, detest a shopping mall,
feel sorry for the drivers in their cars
who fail to recognize they’re in a cage,
and think the message media from Mars,
alike suspicious of the screen or page?
Do you want every question clarified?
Do you explore the or beneath the seem?
Do you think it’s a privilege to decide,
and prize above all else your self-esteem?
Do you think you are worthy, but bizarre
and probably alone? I think you are.
I’m standing underneath my morning shower,
the heat so welcome I can’t get my fill.
I have to use a torque of willful power
to turn the water off and face the chill.
So I imagine coziness of socks,
a hooded sweatshirt, favorite pair of jeans,
a pair of trusted shoes to cushion shocks,
and walking muffled into winter scenes.
And even though I know my state of mind
is indicating worse than sick fatigue,
I can’t help using symptoms to unwind –
I draft this sorry head cold as colleague
in my conspiracy to get some rest
and cultivate an attitude less stressed.
I acted in a play when I was three,
an adaptation based on Gingerbread.
The teacher had to make a role for me,
so I played silent Heifer. On my head
he set a giant mask he’d painted black.
I teetered onto stage and held my mark,
and waited for the cue to totter back,
and no one heard me talking in the dark.
Around my head that cavern echoed speech,
so privately I voiced my favorite word:
I whispered “precious” over and again.
I’m sure that class was organized to teach
us all, but I obtained what no one heard –
a love of language dating back to then.
I sensed a vision of myself today
while striding angrily to catch a train.
I seemed to rise above and watch, the way
approachers to their deaths and back explain.
I saw me as a radiating form,
my feet in rhythmic push and slap-impact,
my heart a fountain of indignant storm,
my brain emitting screaming cataracts.
I wondered once how funny it would be
if farts made little clouds that we could see
(imagine putrid puffs of green or puce).
Well, now an image similar is loose:
of detonation, hued, exploding out
of me, as motion and emotions shout.
(Another Attempt to Capture a Dream Lesson)
Because she fears the basement so, her dreams
keep sending her on errands to the place.
Then tension always mounts, because it seems
the light no longer works – she’s forced to face
her way in darkness to that underworld.
And then she finds no stairway to descend –
she steps and falls abysmally. She’s hurled
inside a lightless depth that has no end.
But she has mulled and learned and has prepared
herself to comprehend the drop’s a dream –
a phantom fall that cannot make her scared –
a hurtless hurtle through the land of seem.
As she forsakes her fear, the bowl of blight
inverts to blue, and lofts her like a kite.
…described himself as stodgy, with a moue.
I told him he should try another word.
“Fastidious or proper is more true,”
and he: “You really think so?” fairly purred.
He ordered roasted chicken over rice
and ate the bird with picky elegance.
Effeminate, particular, precise:
if he were gay his moves would make more sense.
My friend thinks he’s too short to have the life
he long ago concluded is complete.
It’s likely he won’t ever find a wife,
for she has six requirements to meet
(or is it seven now? Each decade missed,
he adds a new condition to the list.)
He has a coat and jacket, shirt and vest,
but pulls the extras off to read and ride
and nap, commuting home. He starts his rest
and I can see his head and eyelids slide –
he’s sloping east while sun sets in the west.
His elder face in creases dignified,
his glasses glinting downward as his chest
inverts to slouch – it’s like he’s fortified
by extra clothing round his scanty form,
by magazine positioned at his waist.
Upon a window seat, in air too warm,
he screens a waking dream of dinner’s taste.
His rangy eyebrows hang like willow fronds
that sweep the shadowed surface of a pond.