The hover of the pole-hugger on the Q train
no light gray morning dotted with rain
smell of paper bag wet from steam of egg
or bread I am McDonald’s sad as prototypic
as a breakfast sandwich the leads in a Haneke film
invariably called George & Anne I don’t want
to be a figure others lean their names into
the woman in the Wieners poem waiting
for the speaker to kiss on her mouth kiss off
to that & into the air as the Violent Femmes
sang that summer when love & its likeness
infected us all with music & rage ^ My daughter
likes Hello Kitty even though she has no mouth
& always looks sad It’s more important I tell her
to feel deeply than to be happy To be happy
writes Cioran you must constantly bear in mind
the miseries you’ve escaped But wouldn’t that mean
your miseries had caught up with you?
^ The quiet beauty of the commuter insists
on surface as we head toward Stillwell Ave
where staying still conflates with staying well
Tell that to the cat who laments being wheeled
into the unknown in a lightless bag I catch
a whiff of Pond’s as she passes what hollow
would smell like if space had scent Liz tells me
I am of soil Becky old paperbacksshe
& her sisters chalk chalk & chalk Some thoughts
leave residue are palimpsest a sheet of paper
in a child’s hands ^ You are here my daughter
pointed in the fifth dimension then folding the paper
& here simultaneously to a spot directly above
I get it said her sister like when I’m reading & feel
I’m the character but know I’m myself at the same time
^ The man beside me twists his wedding band
like a Rubik’s cube he cannot solve The unconscious
warned Jung will direct your life if it’s not
made conscious & you will call it fate ^ The pencil
I used to stab the clog in the bathroom sink
slipped yellow to green stripes to eraser down
the drain ^ Are the deeper problems always
invisible? ^ Dora suffered inversely from upward
displacement what she felt or imaginedor Freud
imagined or felt in imagining her imaginings
the hard-on accompanying Herr K’s embrace
morphing upbody to mouth cough that both encoded
& expelled as all good symptoms will ^ The oldest
impulse is of mouth I should like to eat this or I should
like to spit this out Would Hello Kitty & the woman
waiting necessarily displace downward I should
like to repress this instead? ^ Light radiates as we cross
the Manhattan Bridge a lattice hexagon hangs
amidst a cramped street perfectly balanced
like a benzene ring I miss everything I’ve rebelled against
organic chemistry the thought of a future bridges
south & west of here ^ GPS locations rarely match up
to where you are though the all caps feel as they always do
intrusive body made word even Keats disturbed Fanny
Brawne with his I took your letter last night to bed with me
words made body & bedded your name on the sealing
wax obliterated negative displaceability ^ Is that a feminine
dilemma wax obliterated or wane to survive? ^ My seat
faces the back of the train the past say the Aymara
is before you what is already-known behind murmur of feline lamentation
your back borough you speed into but cannot see
^ Express trains prolong moments by way of trapped
odor intensified sensation vehicle of the Romantics
Coleridge would have loved the Q the ride
might have done some good for Clare as well My friends
forsake me like a memory lost Staying still is no antidote
to loss A pencil left to memorialize the moment
reading stopped cracks a book’s spine a lover’s
back memory a fault line ring around we all
fall down ^ A moment in English is a point in time
other languages locate in space the moment in which
or where In wen overcrowded time-city the psyche
fold & fractals entangles with every object of approach
The woman to my left rests her grief on me
generations ululate beneath her breath ^ Every night
my daughter bemoaned it’s the same thing dinner
I too suffered early-onset ennui Now I parallel
park downhill eat daily biscuits of sorrow
& edge ^ You become more yourself he said
kissing forth my mouth ^ Who will memorize
my dream song if it has no words? Language
is a Bug Out Bob squeeze here & associations
pop in the elsewhere quantum displacement
contact improv between dimensions ^ Why search
for a point if time is spatially extended? Meaning
is more of a dance until you try to understand it

 

 

Photograph courtesy of the author 

The Line
Longshore Drift