PRETERNATURAL CONVERSATIONS 

for Dana Ward 

Every once in awhile I think something about a stranger on the sidewalk and they dart a glance at me and I get it—I GET IT—we are one! Allow seven consecutive days for this exercise. DAY ONE, think about a woman you know, think about experiences you have had with her. Think about conversations you have had, think about the things she wears, eats, her way of walking, her laugh. Think about every detail you can imagine. See if she calls you or emails you. Take notes about this attempt at psychic connection.

DAY TWO, do everything you did in DAY ONE, but for a man you know. DAY THREE, go out to the streets and follow someone walking a dog. Look closely at the dog, study the dog's movements. Whistle in your head, bark in your head. Imagine throwing a stick, yelling "GOOD DOG! GOOD DOG! YOU ARE A VERY GOOD DOG!" Does the dog respond to this? If so, how? Take notes. 

DAYS FOUR, FIVE, SIX, and SEVEN are for strangers. In cafes or restaurants, or followed briefly on the sidewalk. Try to connect with two women and two men, complete strangers out in the world. Study them in cafes, museums, going up escalators, or maybe standing in line at the bank. Aim your attention at the clothing they wear, or the way they chew food. Envision saying HELLO, and tugging their sleeve. TUG IT with your mind, punctuated with putting an imaginary hand on their shoulder and saying, "Don't I know you?" Imagine clapping and shouting "HEY! HEY! HEY YOU!" Did they look at you WHILE you were walking behind them? Communicating beyond the auditory is our goal. What are their reactions? How do you feel about it? Take these seven days of notes and form your poem(s).

 

One

i'm going in for
a CAT Scan i
mean an audition
for an opera
will it finally
break into
Two paths
this suffering One is tiresome
every gentle piece
of marble in
the sun was
once beaten
into shape
this doesn't
work with people
take many deep
breaths maybe
breathing can help
Jesus didn't
need balance
he had nails


Two

i don't offer
frayed blooms while
caring for the center
i love my liver
my gallbladder
pat them good
morning through flesh
i want to show my
kidneys this sunrise
they deserve it working
hard take them out OUCH
see the pretty red
and pink OUCH sky
love you love you
sew you back
my spirit starts
chiming into the wind my
craving for wonder


Three

i make a pie in
my own image
doorknob carried
in bag for months
open open opening
NOT a single thing
but
when public
toilet seat is
warm from
previous ass do you
become comforted
or leap off
in fear?
love is the
function of
time is the
discovery
this dream
pays for its
space in
my heart


Four

Ed Dorn says
faggots should drink directly
from the sewer
i want to dress
special for this
finger wilderness
in his beard
I.V. drip of
sphinx's blood
"what camouflage
will you wear to hide
in the gingerbread
house?" he asks
"none, I want the witch
to find me EAT ME!"
i prefer a song where
i am fed, "Oh Ed,
if you can't handle
me calling you my
sister I don't need
a brother"


Five

neckties
lynch my spirit
meet me against
morning silos which
do not happen
in Philadelphia
i need a soda to
wash this glitter down
it's dark in the stomach
next morning
bathroom light catches
glint of turd covered
in glitter
disco log in the bowl
fecal poetry ranges from
shocking to absurd
this is neither
this is pragmatic
it's my life as i need to live it
Ed Dorn i would kill myself if
i were you but i'm not and
get to live this spectacular
life of sparkling hygiene


Six

in my
scary time
black letters
vanish in
the blue
the living
GIANTS
of Earth
are trees
keeping time by the thistle
to season weeds and their
sensual goals
a new kind of sparrow
shoots from my fears
chide it into a
cloud of itself
a golden needle
stitches my head to
my knee leaving me
aching along the river
STOP telling me damage can
ameliorate our lives
STOP trying to include
me in your portrait of
quietly dying poets


Seven

if i had been
there when they
invented the word
chair
things would
be different would sound better
look at this amazing
structure holding
our bodies in place
to write
to quarrel with ourselves and others
to eat and sing
to launch forth new ideas
to comfort the sphincter
chair is a ridiculous word
monosyllabic NONSENSE
i love chairs but remain
annoyed by their name
living in this post vocabulary
chosen without
imagination
chair chair chair CHAIR
nothing less than
seven syllables will do

 
 
fcny