Saturday, February 13, 2010

That unlucky number...

"i honestly do not know who this poem is directed at but i still somehow wrote it with conviction" is the name of a poem by Tao Lin and I would postulate that that wasn't completely true about the work that he turned out. Rather the name of the poem was a warning saying that the poem was (a) not about him and (b) not about anyone he wished to name. Maybe I'm completely misreading it, but I like the idea. If you write, a lot of your beliefs and a lot of things that've happened to you, that you want to happen to you, and people that you know, and stuff that's happened to them, and what you think of them, well it all sort of makes its way into the work. I mean, I'm not the only one that this happens to, I can tell that, but there may be people who don't write a single concept that they found based in some sort of reality. So I'm not trying to make universals here, I'm just trying to say that if you are reading a poem I've written then it is mildly plausible that I might be able to tell you who it is about, what the point to it is, but still, like I'd suspect Tao Lin would think, I don't really want to do that in idaknow (Timothy Bryce quote from American Psycho for that word) three out of four instances maybe. And now for the feature presentation...

"Abraham Lincoln Brigade"
All you neo-intellectuals
who are planning on getting
your degrees
in the twentyteens
I would caution you to remember
that Aristotle thought
that objects really should be active
to be doing anything productive.

So just because
you think it's so fun
to stay up until three am
slightly drunk
and holding your philosophic debates,
you might just
want to reserve judgment
on the masses

since I seriously doubt
I'd have seen you in
Spain in the late 30s.

Vonnegut said that being able to die for what you believe in
must be very, very nice
and I'm not there, but I don't really believe in anything these days,

maybe your mind
is that set in its ways
but really I never see any justification for throwing the first stones.

Such a round number
like a snowball
that is rolling down a hill
getting ever larger
and ever more marvelous.

I think there's a certain someone
that I am sometimes
who would say
that if you find me
then I will at least
be sure to force you
to admit
that I am prolific.

"Uncertain Longings"
I saw a pair of leaves
on the sidewalk
that looked like sunglasses
lying on the concrete
in the dark of early night.

And I thought
how wonderful it would be
to pick them up
and put them on
and turn to someone with me

and make them laugh
at me like I'd told
a dirty joke
that wasn't
all that funny.

"Dirty Laundry"
So if falling in love
is like going to the laundromat
I guess
breaking up
must be similar to that feeling
that you get
as you leave with your basket
full of nice clean clothes
but are afraid of the fact
that you probably left a sock
behind on the dirty floor.

All these things
that they've learned about themselves
are suddenly uncertain
and he doesn't know
if he really knows the person
that he is
or just the man
she wanted him to be.

The inner vocabulary
of our language
that we've drawn up
in the early mornings
lying in bed
before we had to go to work,

in five years
will we still speak like this?
Or perhaps more importantly,
should I even give a damn,
now that we'd both much rather never see each other again?

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