My first book releases March 31st. This isn’t the post I thought I’d write about such an occasion, but then– this isn’t the book I thought I’d write, either.
Dear God. If in the End
we had no internet
no hot water in the kettle
no books riddled with notes
or bedclothes yellowed by the lamplight
If in the end you were as close to me as I am
to knowing every star,
marking each with naked eye,
reciting cinematic names and vectors
If in the end I’d hauled the wood
you burned for every prostitute
or preacher, every wandering soul
a minstrel in our bed
If in the end my body spelled
the only name that mattered,
and you wouldn’t read it, would not see
your sign in limbs and skin
If in the end our days fell impotent
and soft, no clam’ring mess
in back of us, only a sliding –
only a mouth open, a swallow
I’d curl myself around you
my chin between your shoulder blades,
a pressing: navel, buttocks
thigh to thigh and arm to arm,
a smell of static disavowal
soaking through my robe like ink
and I would say, I love you, love you
washed out, paling into pink.
is the smack of one flap of give-a-fuck
against the other. At the corner
of the sternum. Also the shaking of limbs,
of hands on the steering wheel.
Is the pulse normal. Is the sweat.
Is the exhale hard down into pelvis,
like a push against the flailing.
I’m not asking. That barking
is the sound of wanting sound,
how intricately-imagined the motion
of lips, of tongue and teeth
to form the words that don’t come.
Gestating long past hymn and dust.
That, my dear, that barking
is the chill of stomach sucking
in against investigation. Shaping
itself a bowl for questions.
The smack of eyelash against cheek
blinking them back.
It’s been a dark December. I mean this metaphorically, although (oh god) it’s raining again. It’s the kind of December to which one should invite Rilke, post haste.
Particularly since, 100 years ago, Rilke was having a rather dark December himself. So for you fellow depressives, grievers, broken folk… from Melville House, this today:
Rainer Maria Rilke is in a bad way during those last December days [of 1913] in Paris. He writes: “I see nobody, it has been freezing, there was black ice, it’s raining, it’s dripping—this is winter, always three days of each. I have truly had my fill of Paris, it is a place of damnation.” And then: “Here is the incarnation of my desires for 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917 etc. Which is: peace, and to be in the country with a sisterly person.” He then writes to one of those sisterly people… Sidonie Nádherny: “Now I would like to be as if without a face, a rolled-up hedgehog that only opens up in the ditch in the evening and cautiously comes up and holds its grey snout up at the stars.”