i think your heart is a ship.
i think i am not the ocean you are looking for.
i am not your pacific. there is more salt
than ocean when you dip your tongue
into my waters.
i think i am the dead sea.
you do not care for king david. it’s the 21st century.
nobody will believe there is sacred in me.
there is nothing holy about me anymore.
i think you do not like the bodies i keep afloat.
i think you find my inability to drown the dead a curse.
i think you do not understand my desire to be soft
with even the devil. only the most cruel men
have ever reflected my kind of loneliness.
i think the world need only love and listen to them
before they melt into submission.
i think i am the wrong kind of softness.
i am almost all water and drowning,
but i can’t even do what water does -
hold a ship up. hold you up.
your heart is too heavy with meaning.
it means too much to me.
i think your heart is a ship that was built to sail away.
i think i was built to hold up the wrong bodies.
i think it was best like this.
because i am gyzym! this is my poetry (and occasionally other shit) storage blog, so i don’t spam my main page when i find stuff i want to save :D
Five miles deep,
on the Japan Trench floor
the forecast is the same today
as for the last million years:
near freezing, cave-black,
five tons of pressure per square inch.
Slow rain of flesh.
Snailfish ask nothing more.
Their plump head-bodies are pale
with dark eyes, reports
the submersible, peering
through portals of solid sapphire.
they congregate over a meal of shrimp,
waving their ribbon tails.
Snailfish bear large eggs,
deal carefully with their young,
move swiftly in the dark,
in an ocean of pressure—and here
the observers, so easily
drowned or crushed,
thought to find only
feeble, half-paralyzed creatures.
Snailfish move as if joyous,
never pine, fear no grief;
they are strong,
like Staphylococcus bacteria tried
for generations by hospital protocols,
strong like earthworms
in old mines who swallow
copper, lead, and arsenic,
yet thrive, excreting
A snailfish ripples
through Pacific depths,
an earthworm tunnels under England,
and neither bears an enormous brain
that must be fed,
a hearthfire demanding
every tree for miles.
Such brains belong
to the ones who invented
a camera that can plumb the sea
and return, and the ones
who poured the metal
and mined the stone, the ones
who mow their lawns,
wear shoes that hurt,
deafen themselves with music;
the ones with bad backs,
bad knees, terrible eyesight,
who stay up late,
speed on highways,
don’t eat their vegetables,
sometimes sit on one side of a bed
too sad to pull on socks, and sometimes
fall in love
like mangoes hitting the ground;
the ones who scrounged for grants
and skipped having kids
so they could be seasick over the trench
solitary, anemic beings
listlessly lived—and who leaned
toward their video evidence
of vigorous fish
and made noises of pure delight.
Nefertiti means “The Beautiful One Has Come”
and this rendition of her was sculpted out of limestone
in the workshop of Thutmose
about 1340 BC
and having survived the subsequent era’s
destruction of most of the other sculptural references to her
—essentially, the destruction of her sisters—
she was excavated in 1912
her beauty as so often happens immediately argued over
by Egypt Britain France and Germany
all demanding ownership
and was ceded to Germany
there to go on display in 1923 in Berlin
although the international arguing continued
and remained there in Berlin as the Hitler war machine
was pieced together
and remained there as the tanks and missiles and gas chambers
left the blueprint stage
and in 1939 because of the war was taken
to shelter in a salt mine in Thuringia
her one good eye with the inlaid iris
and the one that had left the workshop blank
so many thousand years before
surrounded by walls and ceiling and floor
of salt salt salt salt salt salt
all of the stuff of weeping
and not one tear.
This isn’t the love you sent back to the kitchen,
the one you now remember as seasoned exactly
to your taste, which you now admit you returned
because you weren’t that hungry and because
you thought the kitchen would be open all night.
And now this is set before you. Ominous shapes
in—is it puttanesca? Hunan?—sauce
which stings the tip of your tongue. The smell that rises
repels, attracts—and is this pottery crude
or priceless art you’re not qualified to judge?
You miss the pretty plate, that sweet, mild meal
that never burned your lips. I’m not saying make do.
I’m saying it’s a long time between meals out here,
and gourmets are pressing their noses to the window
for a whiff of what is cooling on your plate.
Nobody in the widow’s household
ever celebrated anniversaries.
In the secrecy of my room
I would not admit I cared
that my friends were given parties.
Before I left town for school
my birthday went up in smoke
in a fire at City Hall that gutted
the Department of Vital Statistics.
I’m listening to the words, but as usual,
watching something else. I hate myself for this,
but who could not watch as the tip of his cuff
nicks the top of the egg yolks smashed in the grits.
Some day next week he will take out the coat
and see the yellow scab and think how little
keeps us from drooling, even in a tie,
drooling when we should be driving, drooling
when we should be keeping the crazy bastard
at bay. It’s the crazy bastard story again.
He doesn’t want to tell it, but, like listeners,
stories have no manners. They track mud in
no matter how much you scrub, down on your knees,
and remind them, this is my tongue and groove,
my bunched little rug in front of the fire.
Is that running water, a bird up the flue?
You start making noises behind closed doors.
Friends think you probably ought to be watched
or at least let go. Though no one knows where.
There’s no pasture out here for horses who
break down and cry. Horses who say on the sly,
I’m expecting a call tomorrow.
Horses who just want to sit under a tree
and look at a cloud. Horses who think too much.
You’ve decided to eat your grits and not
smash up the eggs and leave them dead on the plate.
And you’re watching your cuff, for the first sign
that the story won’t lie down, won’t stay told.