My nightmares are your confetti
so you may step over tiny skulls
like a satrap among un-housebroken whippets.”
You have to be considered good at what you do
before you are allowed to break the rules doing it,
especially in poetry and basketball.
No traveling or skipped commas until you’re somebody.
No Jordan crossovers.
Here I am,
combining two different flavored packets of oatmeal
like I’m allowed to,
– but when is one considered good at eating oatmeal? –
reading Poe when I’m drunk
McCarthy when I’m not
and Hicok and Hoagland for all those in between times.
No one packs a headache like Clan MaCgregor
or a nap sack
– did I say that right, nap sack? –
like your grandmother.
How you see things depends on how you see yourself,
just as how others see you depends on
how they see everything about you.
Whitman could convince everyone he was their tongue
but you? You have to earn it.
I almost forgot about you,
the way you forget the audience of a eulogy,
your dreams but never your nightmares.
Are you the one who saw me once before?
Made eye contact but looked away,
like I did?
The one who said
you could be somebody if you
didn’t hate everybody, especially yourself?
My speech to the crowd is perfect
until I open my mouth.