May 24th, 2006

Inside, Outside, Upside Down

I wrote this poem in September, 1990 and then forgot about it. In the course of going over -- finally, I should add -- the WordPerfect files from my old 386, I came across the file name and thought, "What's that?" My capacity for repression is clearly bigger than I like to think:

Splattered pattern, improbably like
the one I'd

(Were this a murder, they might
detect something contrived, might
suspect foul-
play) it doesn't affect

me, this parody of an edge,
pried-apart disposeable perched
on your speaker - it looks
like it's there
for effect

Not until the next day, when I'm
sponging up the spots
your sponging missed,
do I feel

Every light switch, the wall
that surrounds it, smeared
as if you'd run from room
to room,
trying to turn on
the lights.

(This is a place, next morning,
you did not look for traces)

I'm left
erasing the evidence,
clues, my other problems
to the absurdly simple:

It's always hard,
figuring out
which stains
were already there,
which drops
aren't dark enough,
remember instead
a glass of juice
poured too quickly,
As much as I love experimental verse, the biggest influences on my own paltry attempts at writing poetry have been William Carlos Williams and Bertolt Brecht. Aside, that is, from the people I've been in relationships with. . .