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 expect
(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 it
Every light switch, the wall that surrounds it, smeared thick, 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, collecting clues, my other problems confined 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, cranberry.
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. . .