Am I supposed to be not paying attention
to what’s going on beside me?
Thoroughbred race horses wear blinders for a reason.
I would like today to be dressed as a jockey—
so neat and bright and well-fitted.
But I can only change my outfit so many times
or put on so many bangle bracelets
before even Coco Chanel
is yelling,
into my twisted, canal-ed, smooth ear
that people are being slaughtered by natural disaster
and each other.
I read a guy say in a book
that a woman’s ear reminded him
of a woman between her thighs,
and now I just want to wear padded satin earmuffs
of the
And I’m blushing because onceuponatime
I wore five earrings in each ear.
Don’t read so deeply into me.
I like to ride on trains.
I like the legend of train robbers.
I would not like to be on a train when it’s robbed.
I have to focus on these things
because thinking too much
about each vibrant human life
of smiling teeth, and expanding breathing ribcage, and hand strongly clenching another…
earthquaked, tsunamied, diseased, genocided, dismembered, disremembered;
swallowed by the Earth I’m also rotating on—
is too much for my silly, compounded words.
How am I reconciling this and continuing function?
Frivolity is the answer.
I’m a little frenetic today.
If I had on brighter clothes,
you’d notice my cerebral cortex humming.
I’m a little close to jumping off the page.
Ohmygolly you can just see me switch-leg-leaping
between the lines, can’t you?
Alright: you got me—I’ll just admit everything
like I’m three-minute-guest-starring on a courtroom drama:
It’s not that I want to
actually hurt you,
but I want the ability.
It’s not that I want to be able to
demolish you
if things don’t go well—
I want to mean
that I could.
Is that asking too much?
I’m asking too much.
Sometimes it’s easier to stay single
than worry about what everyone needs
cradled to him.
I have mountains of delicate handwashing to be done.

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Leave a comment


  1. Emily

     /  April 27, 2011

    Love it. Love it lots.

  2. For some reason I want to hear this read aloud, passionately.

  3. Great poem. At first I wondered where it (you) were going, but then, in just the right way, it became clear.

  4. Sandy Day

     /  April 28, 2011

    “It’s not that I want to be able to
    demolish you
    if things don’t go well—
    I want to mean
    that I could.”

    Love it!

  5. Randy

     /  April 28, 2011

    You like legends of train robbers because you steal the reader’s heart. Great images. You’re very successful at translating an emotion into an image. Good portrait in a few words – the economical essence of poetry. Good job.


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