Daily Archives: May 2, 2015

HAIRY STREAM

Raised on a cozy diet of conditional love,
I learned to emoji from teevee.
Now I’m hounded by gripes before my time.
Twisted in my genome is this thorn,
               and all I see are feuds,
even swans got boxing gloves for heads.

— Ah Ketty-San, why so mori? Maybe you need upgrade
of person?

History shat on every household.
Cop cruisers wand their infrared along bludgeoned homes,
demanding boys to spread your cheeks,
               lift your sac —
Now, here’s an alcopop to dull that throb,
hide your ugly feelings.

I want to love, yes, yet afraid to love
since I will be slapped, yet
what’s this itch? A fire ant burning to a warring,
boiling froth of lust: Slap me, harder,
slap me again!

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

PRETTY RICKY

He’s 1200 pounds of pink pork covered by black
bristles stiff enough to needle and sew with,
Pretty Ricky, all six feet of him spread
out, asleep, no fancy dancer, neither twirler
nor prancer, just eats and sleeps, the biggest
boar at the Fair, oblivious to gawkers, smirkers,
cholesterol, or weight watchers, fat off the hoof,
fat lying flat, good only for breeding and eating,
he won’t even stand to show off all the pork cuts
displayed on the poster behind him: ham, it says,
from the butt, oldest meat of civilized man;
kabobs from the shoulder, roasted on swords
by early Asian nomads; spareribs, sausage,
and bacon from the belly. Pretty Ricky urges
me to swear off pork, but it’s lunchtime and my
stomach wanders off to a foot-long or a brat with
‘kraut. I think twice, three times, waffle back
and forth between meat and a veggie wrap, as,
in front of me, many meals stretch out, dozing.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

THE BIRTH

I had the idea of sitting still
while others rushed by.
I had the thought of a shop
that still sells records.
A letter in the mailbox.
The way that book felt in my hands.
I was always elsewhere.
How is it is to have a body today,
to walk in this city, to run?
I wanted to eat an apple so precisely
the tree would make another
exactly like it, then lie
down uninterrupted
in the gadgetless grass.
I kept texting the precipice,
which kept not answering,
my phone auto-making
everything incorrect.
I had the idea. Put down the phone.
Earth, leaves, storm, water, vine.
The gorgeous art of breathing.
I had the idea — the hope
of friending you without electricity.
Of what could be made among the lampposts
with only our voices and hands.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

YOU’VE GOT TO START SOMEWHERE

I had the idea of sitting still
while others rushed by.
I had the thought of a shop
that still sells records.
A letter in the mailbox.
The way that book felt in my hands.
I was always elsewhere.
How is it is to have a body today,
to walk in this city, to run?
I wanted to eat an apple so precisely
the tree would make another
exactly like it, then lie
down uninterrupted
in the gadgetless grass.
I kept texting the precipice,
which kept not answering,
my phone auto-making
everything incorrect.
I had the idea. Put down the phone.
Earth, leaves, storm, water, vine.
The gorgeous art of breathing.
I had the idea — the hope
of friending you without electricity.
Of what could be made among the lampposts
with only our voices and hands.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

PICKPOCKET

Last night whistling I passed
by their alley, saw them in a
sidelong blink of light from
traffic, a speeding car, then
I went home. Dreamed of
gold skies, black money.  I
felt so stupid, to talk
about them feels stupid.  I’m
the sullen red Sun.
 
Bernadette leans from tenement
windows, sailors keep searching
world after world for
Bernadette, and her arms
are black, her outstretched
proffered palms all milky.
From them coins drop into
Pickpocket’s pockets freely.
 
Pickpocket’s face is pocked, his
arms are pocked.  I threw
his face in a lake to make it
ripple, he smokes a
cigar to an orange hot hole in
his face, a glow.  At night
the Sun’s a kid brought behind
the woodshed and abased.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

SHIFT

Acting on an anonymous tip, a shift supervisor
at a runaway shelter strip-searched six teenagers.
Mrs. Haver was taping shut the mouths
of talkative students by the time she neared retirement,
and Mr. Vickers, a skilled electrician in his day,
didn’t adapt when fuses became circuit breakers,
a fact that didn’t stop him from tinkering
in our basement until the house was consumed by flame.
 
I used to want to be this bad at a job.
I wanted to show up pissy drunk to staff meetings
when the power point slides were already dissolving
one into another, but I had this bad habit
of showing up on time
and more sober than any man should be
when working audio/visual hospitality
in a three star hotel that was a four star hotel
before he started working there.
 
When the entire North Atlantic blacked out,
every soul in the Hyatt Regency Dearborn flooded
the parking lot panicked about terrorists and rapture,
while I plugged in microphones and taped down cables
by flashlight—you know, in case whatever cataclysm
unfolded didn’t preempt the meetings. Meetings,
before which I’d convince a children’s hospital
to pay fifteen dollars to rent a nine dollar laser pointer.
Thirty-five bucks for a flip chart,
extra paper on the house. Is it good to be good at a job
if that job involves pretending to be a secret service agent
for Phizer’s George Bush impersonator? I don’t know
 
if it’s better to be good at a bad job or bad at a good job,
but there must be some kind of satisfaction
in doing a job so poorly, you’re never asked to do it again.
I’m not saying he’s a hero, but there’s a guy out there
who overloaded a transformer and made a difference,
because in a moment, sweating through my suit,
groping in the dark when my boss was already home,
 
I learned that I’d work any job this hard, ache
like this to know that I could always ache for something.
There’s a hell for people like me where we shovel
the coal we have mined ourselves into furnaces
that burn the flesh from our bones nightly,
and we never miss a shift.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

THE NEWS

Tossing off expletives into the sea
of cab lights, I lounge ever more
than I work. I wear my silk pants
to the middle-of-America themed bar
as if white-collar were this Halloween’s
hottest new costume. It sinks
like a stone, this attention to the lives
of others. I think I have evolved to respect
my social obligations, only complaining
to the cell phone’s warm
illicit glow. I feel drunk on the whole
leafy season when you hear me, working
ever to avoid work. Sentiment
forbidden by custom, industrialization
forbidden by nothing. Down the block they
have begun restoring the mid-century
antique dresser, men shuffling back
and forth with gold polish and sand. It’s insane
that I care to ask towards its progress.
We repeat a process of hoping our bodies
to the future though for now mine
eats cucumbers in bed. I had a dream
about a crystal blue pool.
I felt stupid when I saw the ocean.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

NO WORRY

No, worry about nothing
but the chiseling
of hills into distance
in the slight haze

and sleep lost over color
no two ever the same

the wringing hands
float ashore amazed.
Worry about beauty.
It can sell you anything.
Lakes collect in the
chambers of the heart
where the sailboats are made
of flying fish about
the size of match heads.

Sleep can be lost as
easily as a house key,
the shock can consume
at any moment
if the hills are not rising 
weather is wearing them down
and you are driving
north in the late afternoon
or holding your eyes
in your hands like addresses.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

FADE TO LIGHT

Hand me this hand
The sail is bent
The trail is sold
and the wind tied in knots

Answer the phone
The tune is left
The stones uncoil
in a wide-angle lens

A search for clues
encounters bliss
A lip on the edge
of the flowering dark

A shell falls with hail
Hidden and hides
The following sky
The descending kiss.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

STAKING A CLAIM

It seems a certain fear underlies everything.
If I were to tell you something profound
it would be useless, as every single thing I know
is not timeless. I am particularly risk-averse.

I choose someone else over me every time,
as I’m sure they’ll finish the task at hand,
which is to say that whatever is in front of us
will get done if I’m not in charge of it.

There is a limit to the number of times
I can practice every single kind of mortification
(of the flesh?). I can turn toward you and say yes,
it was you in the poem. But when we met,

you were actually wearing a shirt, and the poem
wasn’t about you or your indecipherable tattoo.
The poem is always about me, but that one time
I was in love with the memory of my twenties

so I was, for a moment, in love with you
because you remind me of an approaching
subway brushing hair off my face with
its hot breath. Darkness. And then light,

the exact goldness of dawn fingering
that brick wall out my bedroom window
on Smith Street mornings when I’d wake
next to godknowswho but always someone

who wasn’t a mistake, because what kind
of mistakes are that twitchy and joyful
even if they’re woven with a particular
thread of regret: the guy who used

my toothbrush without asking,
I walked to the end of a pier with him,
would have walked off anywhere with him
until one day we both landed in California

when I was still young, and going West
meant taking a laptop and some clothes
in a hatchback and learning about produce.
I can turn toward you, whoever you are,

and say you are my lover simply because
I say you are, and that is, I realize,
a tautology, but this is my poem. I claim
nothing other than what I write, and even that,

I’d leave by the wayside, since the only thing
to pack would be the candlesticks, and
even those are burned through, thoroughly
replaceable. Who am I kidding? I don’t

own anything worth packing into anything.
We are cardboard boxes, you and I, stacked
nowhere near each other and humming
different tunes. It is too late to be writing this.

I am writing this to tell you something less
than neutral, which is to say I’m sorry.
It was never you. It was always you:
your unutterable name, this growl in my throat.

You may also want to read
1. Lil Wayne’s Smartest Lyrics https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/lil-waynes-smartest-lyrics/
2. I’m Addicted To Lil Wayne https://mynameisemmanuelmuema.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/im-addicted-to-lil-wayne

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