Potentially Interesting & Secretly Devastating

is never to give away your secrets
though people will guess
and say you write like the following poets
e.e. cummings Wallace Stevens Richard Brautigan
Ted Berrigan Frank O'Hara
though you'd prefer to be compared to
the Old Possum
and to me you sound a bit like Robert Creeley
who once was embarrassed by me at a party
he died a few years later.
It's easier to talk to you on the phone
after Nebraska which sounds
wonderful when you say it
even with loathing
and "formally innovative"
and "hybrid forms"
and the human being you are looking for
in my poem
because what are we but our words
in the end and what
are poems but perceptions
and who do YOU want to fuck
and how much do you want it
and what are you willing to do
to get what you want and how can you be satisfied
with what you have. Utterly sufficient
to be apart and how you will never say love
before October and I don't mind
or even know what I mean when I say it
whether what defines it is intensity or duration
of feeling or preordained by fate
which pushes us together and draws us apart
the one human voice speaking in all of our poems
what it felt like to be alive
and being in love is most alive
whether it's with the world or you or
poetry. In every aspect
no one resembles anyone
and can you become a poet just by trying
or do you have to go to an impressive school
and how poems are dangerous
when there are real people in them
and nothing is really new but only to you
and you are the most powerful pronoun

Related Poems

The National Interest

We are interested in long criminal histories
because we've never bedded down in a cellblock.
With the sibilance of wind through the swaying
spires of skyscrapers as my witness. When I say 
cover your grenades I mean it's going to rain I mean
there is mischief in every filibuster of sun.

We are interested in rigorously arranging 
emotions by color as we've never been fully
divested of blues. With drinking till my fingernails
hurt as my witness, with hurt as my witness.
When I say be demanding I mean be fully
individual while dissolving in the crowd.

We are interested in characters who murder
because we've never committed it or to it.
With an origami frog in a vellum crown spinning
on a fishing line from the ceiling as my witness.
When I say please kneel with me I mean between
every shadow and sad lack falls a word.

We are interested in ceaselessly setting floor joists
because we've never pulled a pole barn spike
from a foot. With bowing to soap your ankles
in the shower as my witness, lather as my witness.
When I say did you see the freckle in her iris I mean
the poem must reclaim the nature of surveillance.

We are interested in possessing others who possess
that which we possess but fear losing in the future.
With a fork as my witness. A dollop of ketchup,
hash brown, motion, with teeth as my witness.
When I say you I don't mean me I don't mean
an exact you I mean a composite you I mean God.

We are interested in God because we can't 
possess God, because we can't possess you. 
With a scrum of meatheads in IZOD ogling iPods
as my witness, technological progress as my witness.
When I say no such thing as progress in art I mean
"These fragments I have shored against my ruins"

We are interested in ambivalence as ribcages
resist being down when down, up when up.
With the swell of the argument and the moment
before forgiveness as my witness. When I say power
is exclusion I mean a box of rocks we don't
desire to deduce I mean knowing is never enough.