How Poetry Destroyed My Life

 

I need ten minutes alone in the woods
and a clearing in a me-shape
above a pristine state. I need some friends

to stand alongside the butt-end
of the ocean with, spirits wobbled
in surf spit. I need a conversation cliff,

a keyboard, a keyboard player,
a few days of gold-minded
heart-height under the dead clouds

of August, with friends. My friends,
what I need from you is money, maps,
marjoram, marginalia, and mittens.

 


With God

 

1.

The sky and I, we're unclouded!

2.

We sidle up to everything, flowering out.

3.

Out into the aroundness
and down through the trash can's jaw.

4.

Down through the solar-powered trash can's jaw!

5.

The sky and I, we trash out.

6.

The sky's my trash and I think I'm its.

7.

That about brings you up to speed. It's movie night.
Aboutness skulks the perimeter of the glow.

8.

"It's Godish,"
God would say.

 


 

With Kierkegaard

 

1.

"My grief is my castle,"
thinks everyone who ever lived.

2.

But it's Kierkegaard who said it, from behind all that hair.

3.

Put differently,
we're all combed into the world's updo.

4.

Only thing for it is Motown and dogs.

 


With Montaigne

 

1.

It takes your whole life, and then you're dead.

2.

Dead as a sentence!

3.

Montaigne says, "We are never at home, we are always beyond."
But he also says Petrarch says, "He who can say how he burns, burns little."

4.

Look at this polite book I have written about myself and others!
Look at the jet-ski, impersonating a whale.

5.

"Green whale of summer!" says Neruda of a watermelon, emphasis mine.

6.

Now look away
while night comes to put us all in black turtlenecks . . .

 

 


Michael Loughran's poems have appeared in Boston Review, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, Pleiades, Tin House. and elsewhere. He teaches at the Community College of Philadelphia, is poetry consultant for Subtropics, and collects souls for the Rogue Workshop.

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