Into the Black and Straight Down

 

I am a dying abyss fish,

my weak angler bobbing in the deep dark hate.

My light is all fuzzy fading, woeful will.

       My light is all demon-bait and fevered anger.

               My light is all wind-fucked flicker and protest and

                                                                                                                                                                 snuffed.

 

50 plus breaths leave this abyss fish sinking and

the deep dark hate is an omnipotent tar, swift-working sludge smothering

this drowned fish to tremble before Life's oxymoron.

          This drowned fish intended by God to brave Hell.

                This drowned angel diving dolefully and on and

 

                                                                            Satan himself could never have fallen harder

than this failing abyss fish

whose light is all sorrow, dim mocking.

Than this drowned, hate-choked creature, lowering himself

deep into that miserable black and straight down.

                                                              Straight down.

                                                              Straight down.

                                                              Straight down.

After a Line from Zhuangzi

 

I am no more a poet than I am 

a little shout,  

sick with a small screaming that is  

inflating my lymph nodes and  

scratching the back of my throat. 

These words are laced with illness, with secrets  

that burn me, like choking back bile. 

Like vomit on breath I am rank 

with so, so, so, many things that I should 

say and sometimes do when I am not  

diving head first, my mouth gaping  

into scalding and world-inducing waters, into  

glasses so full to the brim with my muse; I tell you,  

she calls for control of my tongue 

so that however tired, however desperate,  

however jubilant or mournful her whimsy, 

these words taste like decay when they come out  

thrashing and mad, when having unshackled themselves  

from my nightmares they rush headlong and out 

to turn, turn, turn, turn, turn dreams, turn 

worlds, turn everything I might be  

upon this intoxicated axis. 

My hands out when I am spinning,  

I am no more a poet than  

 

I am reaching.  

No more than this mere choking and gasping  

because that sky above is an oppressive 

lavender-scented blanket that falls  

soft over me and demands that I  

shut my eyes and sleep a little  

but I can’t.  

You see, there is this woodpecker under this blanket with me 

that beats into my skull, takes his talons to my wrists and he 

scratches, scratches, scratches until I take 

heart to  

hand to  

pen to  

paper to  

you. 

Now I’m not quite sure how long he’s been here  

but he’s sure as hell unfriendly  

and maybe he’s not a bird exactly  

but rather the sound of my teeth clinking glass as I try  

to move myself with something a little stronger, 

something more persuasive than my own will.  

And maybe those teeth are chattering too  

because I’m scared when that blanket arrests my skies and  

descends, bids the night come,  

smothering. 

Or, maybe  

he really is just that: a bird. 

A bird that won’t quit his fucking singing but I  

can’t quite bring myself to take these fingers to his neck, 

to crush the pathetic breath from it because 

it’s still quite possible  

that this little bird, 

with his goddamn drilling and wailing,  

is me.  

 

Now  

I know that I’ve been saying some crazy things to you 

and I hope you’ve been listening crazily 

because there is a dreaming child beneath that blanket that I  

tucked in within these lines and she’s afraid 

that if your ears don’t come waltzing in for her, 

that if all of the people she loves won’t hear her  

then she will nightmare  

about her hopelessly small place  

in a hopelessly smaller world  

for a few infinite dreams longer, nightmare  

about lips she sewed shut herself for fear that  

their reaching, 

their pleading,  

their feverish words like hands like galaxies fashioned  

for her, for you all,  

won’t reach you. 

She’s afraid of being that firefly you’ll never take to jar,  

afraid, of buzzing bleakly,  

without fire, just flies  

before your eyes to be swatted  

if not otherwise  

simply noticed.  

She’s afraid she might be terrified of art,  

afraid it might be a demon baby beating for birth from inside 

demanding so much of her and  

she’s scared she’ll be a terrible mother 

because goddammit are this precious thing’s  

labor pains so fucking excruciating, 

and is it possible to hate something you love  

so much more than they tell you God loves you? 

 

So I am no poet.  

All I am is 

a little shout, 

a small scream, crazily 

bellowed out toward the heavens and wondering. 

Reaching out into forever  

and wandering. 

An Apology for Mr. Kanye West 

 

Apology: From the Greek 

“apologia” meaning a formal 

defense of one’s behavior or 

conduct

If I could will my being, my art, as you will yours, I would find the sky beautifully torn down, the earth wrenched open by the sheer insistence of my own insolence, an insolence that, I have sometimes felt is so eerily kindred with yours. What is it that moves you to believe in the validity of your own being? To craft an album and demand us accept it, accept you, as if your words were gospel? As if St. Paul himself had asked you, Yeezus, to take the place of Jesus Christ?  

   

      Did you know we would crucify you? 

 

Do you believe it? Are you convinced of your own genius, if it can be called that? Are you convinced of the genesis of your madness as that which causes art to spill from your mouth in like fashion as your bullshit, if they are not simply one in the same? If so, why do you scream it as if no one hears? Why do you seek to justify your testimony in relentless birdsong, tweeting and wailing in short bellows over the internet as if to persuade the whole of the world of the necessity of your existence? And why do I know that screaming as if it were in tune with the pulsing of my own blood? 

 

My cross beside yours because I… 

 

too, am a dropout just as much as I a god–bound 2 heartless feedback and torn, lost to the depths of my very own beautiful dark, twisted fantasy. I, too, am a freestyle fuck, watching a throne and hungry to become the one man to have all that power. I, too, Mr. West want for so many things. So do not shout. Do not shout because I had already heard you before you spoke, before you whimpered. I had already heard you because your wailings are so very much like mine: they are lightning cracks. Our voices rattle defiance against space and time. They reach out to take starlight.  

 

I understand your struggle. I understand the horror of finding that your reflection is no thing less than the multitudes of people you wish to reach. Yes, I understand that furious compulsion, like housing Satan beneath your skin, giving rise to that god dream and commanding you to rap, to write, to shout nonsense if only it will keep you shouting because 

 

We are Prometheus, bound. 

We are Narcissus, drowned. 

We are myth and origin. 

We are Olympian crowned. 

 

We are far from mortal, Mr. West, and within will we discovered the truth: to become an artist demands a most radical apotheosis. And that is no more a description of our task than it is our once and forever divine commandment. We must arrest ourselves from void! We must fling ourselves skyward! The truth therein and we must! We must! We crazily must because we know 

 

the artist is an imaginative child. The artist is a dreaming god. 

 

And you?  

 

You, Mr. West, are a blockhead prick, a truly rank turd of man, seething with such abhorrent egoism and festering with a curdled misogyny. You, Mr. West are a whining most terrible infant, spoiled and demanding and torturously ignorant of a grand constellation of tact and subtlety. You, Mr. West, are so pathetically vulnerable and scared. But that you are an artist? That you are an artist, there is no question. And while it terrifies me, even condemns me to say it,  

 

I feel you, Mr. West.  

I feel you. 

 
 
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