I have no idea what it is
but you are not alone
I am only alone
and I eat alone into my stomach
I love alone
It gives me a smile
and I know it
I’ve seen it somewhere
Maybe a dream
while I was an infant
Sometimes it made itself known
and I instantly liked it
Right then I made friends
But I know it cares nothing for friends
Nor do I
We know your look
All those people and their looks
It is all the same
My friend lonely smiles at it
and spits and taps his shoe
His dog runs wild
We hear it barking and it comforts us
And when it leaves we cry
back to where we’ve come
We are not liars at this
though we lie
But we’re good mostly
But to cry is natural for us
It comes when the cardinals sing
It comes when the wind comes
It comes there in the tree
and over against that old pail
No, it is not a pail
It is a bucket
It is knocked over
Naturally it is knocked over
I sob
I try to hold it back in the barber’s chair
It comes and blows against my eyes like
a chime
I hold it, I hold it
But it comes now and I let it
I cry, I let the death shoot from the eyes
I’m no longer lying
Look, I tell truths
I cannot look up
Never up
So God must hide somewhere in the pavement
But I don’t tell anyone
They all see it as they pass
None want to confront it
so they look me strangely
They go and keep going
to here and there
all these places
But never to stop and see
He’s crazy—they whisper
What the hell is wrong with that guy—they think
And they go off to places
This guy this girl
This place, this other place
where they sit and think how
stupid that other place
But it is coming out now
the truth
And it is a goddamn thing, isn’t it
I try to hold it back
but i get tired of trying sometimes
and let the world see it come from my eyes
What the hell is wrong with him—I hear
What kind of thing am i nature?
Will you ever figure me out?
You shake your head at me
and I do not care
I really do not
I really don’t and I shake my head back at you
and you do not care
really do not
I don’t think

The Devil in Me

Is ashamed to look you in the eye
It is abashed by the color
and settles like a tongue
craving the salt from the palm of your hands
It, the devil, takes complete possession
causing me to wander all night long
through a sleeping town
It provokes me to do this wandering
full awake, wide and full
as the night and the dead
were visions of wide green fields
to the ends of my sight
knee-high grassed places,
waving in wind and sopped
in dizzied light
Those sights that filled my mind
when I was young
And I was stuck inside
a dark art classroom in the basement
with one dreary but hopeful window
It, the demon, wishes the church bells would
bang together
Banging the time out
on the hour
Tuning my ear to the
pitch of my blood
which I hear as it creeks into the fingers and back again
to the flood of my heart
I remember my heart on film
moving like a fat, thriving parasite inside me
I lay there watching it thrive
and I hated the goddamn thing
I thought of suicides
suicides and hillsides
hills and ides
I looked at it
and thought of what people say
“Follow your heart,”
a feeling I get
on Valentine’s Day
when I read the messages on the candy hearts
One says,
I thought again of
suicides and hillsides
hills and ides
and played with my bare feet
scratching at the
dry ground
like some banty cock

The Sun Was There

And it burnt on him early in the morning.
He had not shaved. He had not brushed his teeth.
A bird chirped up in a tree and he hoped to
stone it before he’d pull out the root that was
strung within him. He had to pull the
barbed thing attached to his bones.
He had to take it in hand and by teeth and by heels.
Then sit and rest, wait it out, cut his
toenails, curl his toes afterward—so tight
that two would go out of joint. A root colored
black and red bothering him each day he lived.
Every thought and step would bring it to him
and he had to get it out, squeeze the puss from
it so to see that pure healthy red of the
blood again. To be free to make that walk to the
bridge, bust out its lamps with rocks, and
sit on the damned black ironed bench to cut
everything away. Everything until there was only
quiet, the dark, and the quiet again. To only sit
and smile a smile that was not a smile at all. It was
nothing but there as he picked up his fingers
and drew the black trees to the tips with
his finger. Jut jut. That was what could be heard
as he drew them out, cutting limb by limb. A bat
flew by JUT! And the finger returned
to the tree. Always the tree. The limbs. Jut jut.