I feel a comedy of feathers emerge from my skin. I become a bird. I become an inference. I become a direct object and an intermediary cabbage.
And I don’t like cabbage. That’s how serious I am. That’s I ridiculous I am. I don’t even know for sure what “I am” means. I is an overtone. A suggestion. A bird. A cabbage. A cabbage bird.
Identity spurts from the sternum and prickles with weird coordinates. Heaven sits cockeyed by the edge of a cliff. We must leap aboard when we get the chance. Meanwhile, there is soup, and litmus paper, and cloth. Cloth may refer to clothing, or it may just be cloth. Cloth.
We fold our desires and pack them into our hearts and head for Paris. We arrive in time to see Henri Poincaré ride a swan down the Champs-Élysées.
I like the thickness of syntax when it spins in the water and makes the sentence move forward through a cloud of midnight postage.
The fork is a utensil. The spoon is a postulate. But it is the knife that comes to a point.
I inflate my frustration until it reveals the muscular wallpaper of a meticulous opinion.
I explore the face of a genial distance. There’s an elegy on the loose and I want to see it before it disappears into a good mood. The road is gravel, though I suspect you already knew that. You can hear it crunch under the tires of these words. Which aren’t even round. They’re oval. This causes the sentence to wobble, and go up and down, as if at sea.
I remember an old Swedish church on the prairie, with a foundation of stone. It had long since ceased to function as a church, but was its door continued to stay open. The wind flung it back and forth. It would creak open then slam shut as if invisible people were coming and going. Ghosts, I suppose. You could call them ghosts. Or conceits. Ideas. Dreams. An idea of invisible people in my head. An idea of invisible people in the invisible heads of invisible people.
The door of our apartment is a continual fascination. It has a little peephole in it. If somebody’s making a bunch of racket in the hallway you can see who it is. Once I saw Abraham Lincoln doing his laundry. He looked abstracted, as always, and obsessed with holding the so-called union together. He wore boxer shorts: red hearts on a white background. On another occasion the Marquis de Lafayette paraded back and forth in a sugar of profligate oscillation.
I am surrounded by a mosaic of noise. There are sounds that are easily digested, and others that lead to dreaming. I’m not at all sure how to define music. Does anyone really know how to do that? Music is to sound what brass is to distillation. The drip of whiskey into a big oak barrel.
Think of steam. Now think of sarongs. And Malaysia. Time operates differently in different spaces. Different geographies will vary translations of time. Sometimes you will see it crawl over the knuckles of an arthritic hand, and on other occasions and in other circumstances it will slide under the bellies of fish in scintillations of light and shadow.
Why are spiders so difficult to coax out of a bathtub? You’d think they’d be anxious to ride a hand out of that porcelain into liberty. But they don’t. They skedaddle at the least provocation.
If it’s hot enough, I will put my running shirt on the porch railing to dry in the sun. Otherwise, I have to take it out back and shoot it. I have buried a lot of running shirts. One day their ghosts will arise from the drawer and dance in the darkness like one of those old-timey cartoons of skeletons and cats.
One afternoon after I hung my shirt on the railing I felt a young rain tree brush my skin.
Sensations are the pixies of our lives.
Is it wise to harbor so many generalities? Not when you’re my age. Deductions become inductions. The redwood, bathed in light, touches the sky. A storm brews. Lightning stumbles on an electron. I stop to ponder an elephant. The elephant has been painted on the side of a barn, and is pink and happy with an upturned trunk. When you’re young, everything is on arrival. When you’re old, everything is on departure. The difference between them is not so large. The difference between them is that of a muscle on bone, camaraderie in an airplane factory.
Light survives the darkness. This is a daily occurrence. I get up, make the bed, go to the bathroom, take a piss, look at my face in the mirror. My face trickles down the mirror in beads of water. I remember looking younger. I remember that younger person I used to be. I remember the highways that were traveled. The cars driven and repaired. Gaskets replaced. Fan belts replaced. Too bad you can’t replace a body so easily. Body work the mechanics call it. Medicine has a different name for it: abnormality. You have an abnormality. I’ve known this my whole life. Poetry is an abnormality. Poetry is a big abnormality. Poetry is a huge abnormality. For which there is no cure. Except more poetry. More abnormality.
Adjectives are the adipose tissue of the sentence. Fat. Adjectives can make a sentence fat. This, for instance, might be considered a big fat sentence, an abnormality beginning with a demonstrative pronoun and spitting blue fire from a mouth of ink and memory.
I feel the kiss of California. I speak to a canvas with a paintbrush dipped in a gob of blue. My feelings waltz when I cross the border. When I enter a state of abandon, the painting gets easier. The painting becomes goats. Cylinders. Forceps.
A willow grounds the elasticity of dirt. The stream urges conference with the hills. The hills confer with the sky. The sky argues back with rain.