Read this after the feast

by Jesslyn Whittell

trying to live in the now with poor timing rinsing a gallon of milky plastic so it can be plastic (hold breath?)       
                hm       I smell a rotting orange—new nail polish old paint

I felt a bruise but it keeps moving avoid pink and glum and fun when I stopped expecting miracles          good          but the mirror is in the right place for warning myself about the trickiness in daylight and the fingers that makes it another world when I did I slip out like a sneak from my body that I am always ready to betray         
with hunger or [cancel]

my honesty is a lot of hesitation|
I lick motive and intention off|
what wounds I find in there like|
an animal corpse I am too full|

I deserve to be a good person

I dropped a box of Cheerios and when the wax bag unrolled the impact had made up its mind to be uneventful I always expect more hey you! but it was quiet like the body          diffusing iron
oo o  o   o 

hope was not a vision it was a distortion recycling hours into eons my sunflowers are dying or plastic it goes both ways if joy weren’t so expensive but it is it can be measured and served with microwave-safe stars pain is less forgiving     


What does it mean for the universe to be always expanding?
 Permission not to think—there is no feeling that can’t be faked with waste nothing in paradox that can’t be spun in a salad spinner I am almost out of things to safely destroy

oOn the sidewalk a newt’s severed floppy tail got stuck in the gap with sidewinder contractions
this leftover impulse to refuse and I watched it thinking @Eternals—this could be death
this painless thing snapped off of me the notion of “endless” like a holdover from childhood

I am trying to name a fl|e|x happening to me|
a restored faculty harrowing for its indifference
from the indifference that preceded it| unlike this body
this brain can’t process the terms of its own recovery|

sensing only the sameness that persists|
across the threshold between worse phases and better ones|
a dissipated sameness still it surprises it| (the brain, the body)
vividly bringing a horde of balloons|

hold them
                        or let go and watch them all quivering up|
how distant can someone imagine this helplessness?|

I make a touch toward “you” in my mouth|
this is difficult in such violent sites as a mouth|
or—a mound was being excavated at Santa Monica pier|
Bobcat trucks sloping into the hole|
carting up more sand to make more drainage|
or to coax the water’s edge back in—un-erosion|
they build one pier they need another|
I need to measure my share of this decay|

sometimes I am so close to death that I can feel myself die in a parallel universe—a car will turn warm on my heels in a crosswalk and an iteration of me is snuffed out

I absorb my portion of the loss like a fractal|
clinging to itself I go forward on the waterline|
the sand is firm down there|
sculpted by the undertow the hungering|
in me for lunar or linear causality my insides circular with grief|
I feel at the limits of the chill for the pattern|

          Ignore the metabolism of what I’m doing for three minutes I felt that rubber band last night talking to you about capital letters plain as flipping a quarter thinking washington and wondering if he was bored of reliving himself on TCM, on that heightened plane where concepts strive in human bodies. Consider in the nineteenth-century class commentary Flatland 2D geometric shapes encounter 3D shapes but the 2D shapes can only see the 3D shapes in TCM films the flaneurs and cowboys and detectives. No one is human there. Even sex is a concept there. Meaning is possible. Words are enough. Our myths|mouths compressed and immediate into premises|promises taxed in a blissing.
          Happiness ugly as crying comes on in off moments. Concept of waste. Like dysthymia it overflows each possible description with irrefutable boredom, a 4D slippery coating to the world. If I exist, I am too dissipated to see it in one shape, a careful sequence of excess.
          The days get lopsided. Each begins with the rush to poop and a word that is hard to write. Feces is pretentious; shit is figurative; poo is cute. Poop has none of this complexity. It is a word that requires near-daily exposure to exist, delicate and uncomfortably close to exactly what you need it to mean. It is obvious—boring. And what you call pain is also boring until it has an “after,” and then you call it pain, but in the confines of the literal, my body divides into patterns.
          Each daily poop is like a rubber band pulled out of me not quite to snapping, and then deposited and disposed into the general concept. The days vary in me by precisely these variances, my body un-sliding a little differently through each one, soft and flummoxed often stiff-packed or not able liquid stinging, a halo of rubber bands lined up makes me an intestine, an esophagus, an optic nerve. I can find on myself the reminder that my body is not a heaven; the remainder of heaven divided by resignation is o. The body makes waiting possible.

on foot after the bar I bring you my message|
below the freeway smelling shit|
but not (without) wanting to be sacred|
struggling to recite an 18c poem without|

slipping into the past tense the concept of the waistcoat|
or a flustered image marking its territory|
on pub signage in London—forget the emptiness that lifts planes|
forget theses and umbrellas scandalized|

by this late wet season; is everything spare?|
inhabiting memories like anesthesia|
everything warps to avoid my touch|
                                                             my refund came through today
I am expanding somewhere|