I am a crowd. I am a lonely man. I am nothing.
—William Butler Yeats, “A General Introduction for My Work” (via larmoyante)
Shadows by the film folk, masses by the good people.
—James Joyce, Finnegans Wake 221.21 (via humphreyking)
The circumcised rhino,
no more will he gore,
lost, unlucky, matadors
This lullaby was originally for my insomnia,
but it’s gone bad like milk.
Different milks spoil differently:
Cow Milk: 7-9 days
Goat Milk: 9-10 days
Mom Milk: 6-12 days
Warm milk should help you sleep,
but even cold I burn my tongue
and spend the night sucking ice cubes
I keep all my pacifiers in the freezer so that my mouth goes numb,
and I don’t have to feel myself speak.
I wish I had something for my mind to suck on,
so I could sleep and sleep.
If the war was over then I could sleep
If a girl came over then I could sleep
If someone smiled at the pharmacy then I could sleep
If knowing was enough then I could sleep
Oprah what are you?
Are you a souvenir mug?
A collection of photos?
Are you the place my Dad goes in the mornings?
A lifestyle brand to end them?
The smell of a new car?
The sum softness of all the newborns birthed during your reruns?
Those beautiful moments when the barista does the Chai Latte right?
A sexy obelisk?
Oprah why do you never let me get the check?
Must you tip the waitress with shavings off your gold plated extensions?
How is it that all this hip world knowledge goes to your stomach,
but still you never look bloated?
Oprah how can you be both a fad and an archetype?
Oprah your taste for Wagner is so mainstream.
Oprah I laugh at your jokes, but I only find them medium funny.
both “Oprah” and “Cleopatra” end with an “Ahhhhhh”
There’s something in that.
Oprah my goddess why won’t you let me finger you?
Is Oprah Chai your way of getting in me without a strap-on?
You deserve more than missionary position.
You deserve Jesuit position, high Priest position, steeple position, Dome of Rock position, Vatican City position, Taliban position.
Oprah we don’t negotiate with terrorists, but maybe you can?
I can see you holding those sand orphans to your cynic-saving breast,
telling them it’s going to be ok
Oprah, tell me it’s going to be ok.
I’m convinced that you’re real and I don’t know what convinces me
Oprah I love you,
isn’t that important?
Oprah one day you will expand and become everything,
and I’m ok with that, I love that
I’m ready to feel you all around me,
and hear the long, meditative Whitman “O” of your name,
rolling off shrines
spooking away the Tibetan monks,
as they try hard to look serious.
There are weeds in where the concrete puddles on the basin’s fringes,
The armpits of a borderland intook, nip tucked and lip-straight,
like a smile with warm extending up into the eyes
and down into the breastplate of the city I lived in
so thoroughly and fervishly
Pressed up against a solid force field of Oxford English,
A wall prettied with subway maps
like my childhood Sky Atlas in the mud
Aren’t I left yet?
Which of these kilometers,
laid and ticked-out like a 2-dimensional railroad,
a prison wall chalking,
is The capital “K” kilometer,
the Saving Grace Kilometer
Those iron spun balconies wrapped in bows on Sundays,
I’ll keep the pictures
The refugee neighbors, their spidery noodles
I’ll remember how the steam cupped,
and the pot spitting like a grayish pet cat
Hurts doesn’t it,
bare feet spoiled by grass and carpet
refusing dirt dessert,
blistering out of their BandAids,
her skirt, they say, her skirt!
And the ferry, there it goes above me
over my head like a smart joke
over my head like the leftover science skull that serves as knapsack
If I jam an anxious hand down my throat,
Can I pick out that last flake of soot stuck to my left lung,
the last gray sud of a 20 year shower,
mimicking the lady from the tickets so convincingly?