Not to wet the sand under
your capacity to know your own mind
or point to solar flares
at the appearance of the rainbow ball,
but are you sure you’re all right
being in love
with me because I’m not all that functional
or wise or anything?
Closest I’ve come to watching
Night of the Hunter was reading
an account of Lana Turner pissing
on Robert Mitchum. I’ve only
just begun banking online. No one
ever includes the freeze response
alongside the other two autonomic
ones. Like biopics of writers,
it’s low in action,
drool not being big box office.
I didn’t go to school, anywhere,
never mind Stanford.
I think, no, I worry (it’s worrying)
you fell in love without
all of these questions. I know I’d be best
served by talking myself somewhere,
like Christoper Robin, somewhere
a friend lived – lives – within their means,
stuck in their own door frame, or expecting
diminishment as more of their lot.
They spent the pages together, didn’t they,
obeying the narrative, jumping
in with a quip now and then if the weather
got up, or one of their crew
peeled off into their particular obsessions
giving everyone else something to mull
over. Has Disney bled into
my earliest –? We’ve all had that nail
through the sole breach the flesh, then
endured the tales of typhus, the dear
old diphtheria, one or the other
going by its street name stood over the draingrate
kicking at the buckling tarmac.
My brother said cocaine can give you lockjaw.
Like the rest of the world’s bits,
people either connect or they don’t, it isn’t
for me to intercede or force the issue,
and look, the chimney pots of Sarajevo
are the city offering the assembled mountains
endless cigarettes at dawn.
I burned ants as a boy. The sun can be narrowed
to a blade. Still, the patriarch
in the Melrose novels
applying the red end of a cigar
made me vomit. It’s in the telling, isn’t it?
We locate power on a low
stone wall under a fig tree.
We do it all day every day until we can’t see.
We do it with a belt between our teeth.
Did you wake to a world vibrating off-key,
sick at the root, pale and untenable?
Photograph © Mitchell Haindfield