XXXIX. Qoheleth (iii) (first published 3-20-2013)

And now Qoheleth is dancing, dancing like a circus bear
Spinning round, lifting his frock in the air,
Hopping from one foot to the other,

God Bless Me God Bless Me God Bless Me
He laughs,
Sin, folks, sin. You engage in it, you revel in it,
You love it. And how are we to turn from love of love
To love of Love? How are we to love the One whom we should love?
We must learn to love sin enough to kill the sinner in us.
Sin with me, sin with me. God bless me!

Q. lives in a broom closet.
Q. eats nettle soup.
Q. sells fruit by the side of the road.
Q. got a million dollar advance on his next book.
Q. has three wives.
Q. does not live in a broom closet.

Love your neighbor. Love your neighbor and sin with her.
And then repent and kill the sin!
And hate the sinner in us!

Q. didn’t get a vote in the selection of the new pope.


XXXVIII. Weismann’s Rage (ii) (first published 3-19-2013)

on how the rage came into being. Certainly, he wasn’t its creator. Rather, he came into it, as though it were waiting for him. But specifically for him? Was the rage his own personal rage? Or was it a collective construction, existing between and beyond the points in the matrix? And the rage would quell, hide out, seek other shores. Did it exist when it was gone? Some days, Weismann walked blocks and blocks, feeling nothing but a universal love taking hold and then, from nowhere, it would come at him from around the corner and knock him off his feet. It played games, it joked, it devoured his spine. And he questioned it, interrogated it, and meanwhile it was interrogating him. Who are you? he asked it, to which it responded, Why do you think that that person is looking at you with such contempt? Weismann glanced over, then back. And do you believe, he said, that

XXXVII. Pain Interlude (first published 3-17-13; originally misnumbered)

Just three days before, I walked down Atlantic-Pacific terminal with the elongated stride of one who wants you to believe in the importance of their destination.

And now, hobbled, I am one of the slow ones, the ones who block the way, who dawdle.

Pain is an ontological condition. Reminder of the dog in man.

Spinal cord (n): the cylindrical bundle of nerve fibers and associated tissue that is enclosed in the spine and connects nearly all parts of the body to the brain, with which it forms the central nervous system.

Macy’s Impulse™ posters on the terminal walls, models looking right at you, posing so as to look spontaneous, long strides while their heads are turned at the frazzled gazers. You too, in one of the many universes, could be having fun. So they say.

At 45th, I decide to sit down. I can’t get back up and have to grab onto the bar to support myself. Any weight on my legs, and down I would go.

You will die, says my body, you are already dead.

You will die, say my nerves, and painfully.

XXXV. Untitled (first published 2-14-13; originally misnumbered)

Octogenarian in a wheelchair being pushed past BAM; black woman, arresting stare; a person who matters.

I notice, first of all, the stare, which hooks me, and then the pin, a large, oblong, golden-colored pin with shells dangling from it. But the meaning passes my notice as I pass.

But then, in a flash, I know it. A horizontal cross section of the Amistad, with the bodies of slaves laying prone on its deck. The cowry shells dangling from it in honor of those lost to the sea and still being lost to the sea that ate them.

I couldn’t respond with verse, only prose, because the poem is hers.

XXXIV. Time Stanzas (originally posted 2-13-13; originally misnumbered)

“I have written some new poetry; I just don’t know what it’s about”
–       Hirohito in Sokurov’s The Sun

Sadness, syncope, striation.
Time is the poem is the distance from A to B is the passage of time.
(Zeno’s paradox. Not a paradox when you incorporate T.)
Shall we add, Synchrony?

Striation as image of time.
We met we loved we sedimented
(but not while my parents are upstairs sleeping).
What remains is a photograph (overused metaphor of frozen time).
(Barthes says, “I am looking at eyes that looked at the emperor”).

Syncope, the staggered beat.
We believe that we can overcome the
Fatal beat through an act of will: Add
A beat, and all will be right. Ass-
Ertion. Proposition.
Free will.

Sadness: melancholy of the fulfillment of what we know to be true in advance.


XXXIII. Tired Ass Lovefool (first published 2-13-13; originally misnumbered)

The raindrop faces come and go,
And each glance could be
Desire or loathing.

Love me love me say that you love me.

Synecdoche of the Q train: doors opening and closing.
All life contained in the blur.
The walls of the tunnels can be vaguely glimpsed in the dark.

Fool me fool me go on and fool me.

Doubles, triples.
No distinctions.
The word is “harried.”

Love me love me pretend that you love me.

Only Jesus saves.
Only Jesus saves for winter.
Only Jesus saves big now at participating outlets.

Lead me lead me just say that you need me.

Doors close. Train departs.
Damn. Damn damn.