I put a dream in the trash bag.
The dream is in the trash bag.
The trash bag rejects its form and conforms
to a shape more wretched than it.
No one gets inside of a trash bag
willingly unless they are there already.
On the moon all trash bags contain the image
of night with the moon cropped out. On Earth
all trash bags are fictions
sustained by poems with the truth cropped out.
If I write one hundred poems of trash and they make
one hundred million dollars, how many lies
must each poem contain? A poem of trash contains
itself like an engine with recursive pistons.
If you’ve come looking for an ecologically
aware poetics look no further! Everyone
is asking for it! One way to sustain your artifice is to put
each sayable thing into the trash bag
in one order and take them out
in another order that didn’t exist before.
For instance, I put this dream in the trash bag. I mean,
I took this trash from the dream bag. I was once a poet
a trash bag among others. We asked some perfect
questions but our mouths kept filling with trash.
Trash talkers, we named ourselves, after Wallace Stevens
who looked out across the dump without even thinking
to ask would all this actually fit, which is why
modernism didn’t work and had to be thrown away
and replaced with trash the others left behind
to defend themselves from the ones whose dreams were useful.
Self & Care
I often have difficulty being kind to myself since kindness
presents as a lesser virtue. No no goldenrod,
golden road to hell paved with symphonic reason.
I’d forgotten about hell
it didn’t forget me. And you didn’t, either, forget about care
though it comes out exasperation.
Thus I am asinine, unmasked,
as asters fluke in the wind
as rowhomes crowd out fantasy
as chemtrails reticulate
the sky, the sound
it’s all those old friendships
hitting their distant edge and snapping.
You can’t stop that changing
or pull the plug on tenderness.
I ask everyone Have you changed, Have you felt different, Are you still in an unstagnant way. Ask me if I’ve changed, too
since we last broke out of years
mocked lyric vagueness in the vaguer night.
I do not want to unpile space anymore I do not want to be a periodot of time
obsessed with the movement of spheres.
Would you care for me so I don’t have to
until the uncurtaining
when I stand up just to yell Surprise I’m the withholder of time?
I’m getting messianic again.
Next time, no more trash may rest below my eyes.
Trash as in all I’ve had
wanted, and denied wanting, in that order.
Could it be it was all a style of failed control?
I’m wondering if I’ll look back on this time as all I had left of my dreams
sights like twigs scraping
the bus windows
a chronic river
then rudimentary tenderness
I go to bed every night thinking about how I get to make you coffee the coming morning
the cup I hand you
forever at the rift.
There was a town
The town had a dream in it
The dream was a town
That town was the first town dreaming
Its own dream of necrotic fire
Stars wrecking each other for wonder
Who makes this that mistake who’s in charge
Here’s a mountain taking off
Its top but another lives inside this is me
Unshrouding my own dream whoops
I’m getting conspicuous but that happens
Rancid asphodel rancid dancer
Motion is an attribute of beauty
It gets confused with impermanence
That sentiment the stone thrown through me
I’ve learned so much from my institutions
To shut down marvels one-by-one typing lies into a search engine
I won’t repeat them here
Maybe I’m a little overinvested in truth but I just palm embarrassment
In my hand a handsaw
In my mind a red voice humming
It calls the “to” right back to own
It calls the “e” right back to motion
When I talk about how poems make me feel not even that what they do to me physically I worry others suspect I’m not being truthful but there’s nothing I could do or say that’s less of a lie
In the town I go around asking did this dream of yours come true
Emily Dickinson replies that reading poetry feels physically
As if the top of her head were taken off
An image of violence I mistake for an image of beauty
But poetry is beautiful only to the extent that life is beautiful and poetry isn’t violent only to the extent that life isn’t violent
I don’t mean poetry and life are coextensive but I just woke up from this poem of a town with a dream in it
Making speech sounds like water
Holds onto the reflection
Of the fire it doesn’t put out
I thought the town was a metaphor
I thought the fire was too
But now the town won’t stop burning and the poem doesn’t say why