Ways to Disappear

In the dark
Down a stairwell
Through the doorway
Gone west
With a new wish
In daylight
Down the sidewalk
In a wool coat
In a white dress
Without a name
Without asking
On your knees
On your stomach
Gone silent
In the backseat
In the courtroom
In a cage
In the desert
In the park
Gone swimming
On the shortest night
At the bottom of the lake
In pieces
In pictures
Without meaning
Without a face
Seeking refuge
In a new land
Gone still
In the heart
With your head bowed
In deference
In sickness
In surrender 
With your hands up
On the sidewalk
In the daylight
In the dark

Forecast

I twist myself into a knot
the day pulls taut.

I am what I am
told. Good red meat

gone necrotic. A spot of black
spread out to ruin

a perfect evening. It’s the way
the weather wears me.

A cold, blank day. My blood-
burned fingers. A white noise

swelling in me. It’s nothing
but night now. That’s how

all the days end. An hour
glistens in its glass case, turns

rancid in my memory.
Another day, another

dress the day lays out
before me. I grow older

if I’m lucky.
And I’m lucky.

My sad heart in its excess.
Such petty injury. I am worn

against the weather. Limp and prone
to empty.

What came before this.
I can’t remember.

I dress for all the lives I want
behind me. I have come here

to make seen the day
I see. I fall from focus.

The day goes sour. It asks me
nothing. It asks nothing of me.

Inheritance

What have I

To say in my wrong tongue

Of what is gone   To know something is

Lost but what   You have forgotten what

You long forgot   If I am 

What survives   I am here but I am not

Much of anything at all   To be what’s left 

And all the rest scooped out 

And dropped into the sea   My flesh

Forming a knot on itself is a habit

Learned from whom   A mind reaching back

Into the dark a body releasing itself

Backward into space a faith

I have no prayer in which to keep

Am I home or merely caught

Between two unmarked graves

I’m saying where we live

 It’s a mistake   A compromise 

I’m made to make   

I’m told come willingly 

Halfway across a bridge to where

I’m halfway human   Or else 

A door bricked over 

Behind which all I am   

To be shadow cast by shadows cast

By no one’s hand   And now

Whose fault am I   It’s said 

I stand against the grain

Of natural law   A being in chaos

In argument with itself   What would it be

To be simply   I am here but what of me 

That’s gone stays gone

 

Aubade

They say brave but I don’t want it.
Who will we mourn today. Or won’t we.

Black all the windows. Lower
down the afternoon. I barricade

all my belonging. I am mostly never real
American or anything

availing. But I do take. And take
what’s given. The smell of blood.

I breathe it in. The dirt so thick with our good
fortune. And who pays for it. And what am I

but fear, but wanting. I’ll bite
the feeding hand until I’m fed

and buried. In the shining day.
All deadly good

intentions. A catalogue of virtues.
This is how I’ll disappear.

Related Poems

Of Memory and Distance

     It’s a scientific fact that anyone entering the distance will
grow smaller. Eventually becoming so small he might only be
found with a telescope, or, for more intimacy, with a 
microscope.... 

     But there’s a vanishing point, where anyone having
penetrated the distance must disappear entirely without hope 
of his ever returning, leaving only a memory of his ever having
been. 

     But then there is fiction, so that one is never really sure if 
it was someone who vanished into the end of seeing, or
someone made of paper and ink....

future somatics to-do list

a love letter to traci akemi kato-kiriyama

does a voice have to be auditory to be a voice?

where in the body does hearing take place?

which are the questions that cannot be addressed in language?

which are the questions where promises lodge?

how do we hear what is outside our earshot?

when does distance look like closeness, feel like velvet sunrise cheek to cheek?

what are the objects, ideas, or experiences we drop beneath the more evident surfaces of our lives to the air or water or ground beneath? do we drop them purposefully? are they forgotten?

what word makes the body?

what body defies the word?

which figures, shapes, presences, haunts, methods, media, modes, ephemera, gestures, abandonments, models, anti-models, breaths, harmonics? which soil? which fields?

what does beginning sound like? what body does continuing form? what note does perseverance hum?

is a word a body?

which apertures? which hinges?

where does a body stand without settling?

through which holes does history break into our day?

where in the past does the future excavate?

where in the future does the past propel?

what are the distinctions between proximity and simultaneity?

where does a body resist without refusal?

can borders be exceeded? can borders be disintegrated?

where in the body does hearing take place?

where in the body does loving take place?

how do we make family with someone we do not know?

what do we carry with us and where in the body do we carry it?

might we be permitted a we this evening?

may I hold your hand? to feel your hand as its actual shape, clothed in its papery useful unequivocal skin, bones stacked like tiny branches, the balancing act of a bird, joints unlocking, span from thumb to pinky octaving out toward unfamiliar harmonics?

what space does the body occupy despite everything?

what does despitesound like? what does withsound like?

where does attake place? where does respite take place?

 

Less Music

This freedom up.
A house difficult of exit, diffident of exit.

This flame up.
The false house, house of faulty entries.

This facade up.
The manifold worries architecture.

This face up.
To the artiface's winding paths we lend our gloss.

This fact up!
This house multicursal and continuous.
Do you desire to disengage the frontispiece of devastating complexity?

This!
The curving house is green.
Do you wish to disappear from an escaping sentence?

Do you wish to forget the manuscript or do you wish to evict the manuscript?
This froth up.
The house ancient of exit, of antecedent impressions.