For most of the aughts, Ellen was the smartest person I knew. She dressed impeccably for parties, she always knew the right moment to use the word ‘oeuvre.’ People were delighted to be in her presence, as if she glowed incandescently. Later she came down with an eating disorder and wasn’t quite as fetching as in earlier years. After all this, she asked me what she was like then, since a woman is rarely aware of her powers. I told her. She exclaimed, “But I was a failure!”
Jan’s name was a girl’s and didn’t match the heft of his body. His hair was short black squiggles and his skin the color of roasted chicken. He was full of contradictions, like, in spite of his name he was very much a man, with rippled shoulders and an Adam’s apple that protruded from his throat.
That night, like every night that year, long after dark had fallen, I climbed the tree at the top of the hill behind town hall. That night was different, though. When I’d almost made it to the top, instead of the bird with whom I’d been having an affair, I met a fellow border guard.
It isn’t how it looks but how it feels
I just sit there opening my mind to my mind
And all the soldiers of the garden, the frogs and snakes
And all the foot soldiers in the garden composing letters under the stars
Last night, all night
the dream, the dead
mother, my small sister,
tiny, her mouth
over my shoulder
The extra fine ingredients sift down on you
or stir at your feet and cover your shoes
with the dust of it. The back of your hands,
dusted. Some fine glass particles stick.
by water in the glass bottom boat. As if seen through a cloud. Oil refinery across from flight path. Big white drums.
Jarret, do you have a large velvet pad I could borrow
Or a gold gift box?
I need a round velvet bar,
Jarret and an acrylic earring stand.
I CAN’T WAIT FOR MEXICO TO CONQUER AMERICA
FOR THE FRENCH OF CANADA TO BUILD A RAFT ON LAKE CHAMPLAIN
I CAN’T WAIT FOR LASER SURGERY
I CAN’T WAIT TO VOMIT WHAT I JUST ATE AND SCALD THE PLACE WITH THE CUM ON IT
Last night’s dream opened with me and Andrew lying in an inflatable boat on some body of water somewhere in summer. A plane was slowly falling out of the sky and heading right towards us. I remember thinking in the dream (when thinking feels like you’re pulling the length of a telescope further out) that I’d seen this before: a plane falling, floating almost, towards these two men in this boat.