The drink throws me
back into myself from
deep paradises, out
of temporality into knowledge
I know now what it hides—
the poisoned geographies
the promises, the dead
oh, the dead, who within
consumption take action—
I know now that I am moving ahead
but through what I couldn’t say
a length of rope, a coil of sinew
peels of grapefruit, strangefruit strewn, and all I know
is that the drink does horrible
things to me. I take my first
stride into the inferno that
Dante confirmed I see a
Poinsettia on the wall that
toxic thing a kiss of death
for a dog—and those
sweetened fruits, sweet to
disguise sweet, a journey
to mentiras, to the dead
who in their death know the
truth of things—or do they—
to go to and from the sea,
and I see a lighthouse
representative of all I will
never reach, oh this world
has done horrible things to me,
a continuum of self-made promises
I could never and will never keep
a set of mock flowers set
upon a dry windowsill revealing
not beauty but parable—I know now
that I am not moving but I
am full of drink and it is a relief
not to make decisions on where
I shall move to and how and with whom
and who shall be my lover
and shall I love them back and
for what length of time will we
stay together and in which part
of the country or in this country
at all and what flowers
will we keep on the nightstand—
yes I am glad to be relieved
of this responsibility but
at the same time
I know now that if I am
yet a child then love
can do no more than
distinguish me from other forms of
living matter and that
my love for the world and its kids
can do no more than do more horrible
things to me. I am now being
drained of drink and the drink
does not want to leave, it
knows the pain that
only one man knows
and will not tell the world,
and the man in question
sees his problems
as collateral damage
he blames the
world and its spaces
but I know that he is wrong
because the sun throws him into
himself with sharp relief and I can
see him and I know then that
he could solve all
his problems with just a little
more love, but I cannot speak
further because I am not
moving ahead as I would wish
I cannot even wish in the present tense
I am confined by spaces and love.
I remember the time I passed
an inconsequential part of the countryside
and I thought to myself that the world
must always be more beautiful in
transition from one space to another
but I am still happy to stop and sleep in
my own bed, a destination chosen
for me by duty and I love this duty
and the drink, but
I am hungry and speeding
towards a place I only
know in vague relation
to life—I am hungry
and the lost peace and the
pastoral life only appear with
glass in between me and their
beauty; I fall asleep quickly
with the rain pounding on the roof
foolishly thinking about
the sky’s lovely duty when the sky
has no other obligations
aside from weeping
and this is the most poignant
and the most utterly
lost form of sadness,
the sky crying without
sadness in return,
only comfort taken
and fear expressed.
I know now that I
must be very careful
now, be very open and tender,
it is in my best interest to be
very tender, because
I have done horrible
things to me, perhaps
I should work in libraries
listening to courtesy just for
the money and peace without
bothering to crack a book
perhaps I could smuggle more drink
behind the desk and make
more iterations of my
lonely self, permitting
my shame and guilt
myself the only source
and thinking of nothing in particular
forfeiting love in search
of physical fulfillment and
thinking of nothing in particular
when the world and its
men live hours away
from the dirtiest thing I know,
and I know now that
I do not need to move
if the world moves around me all
I need do is listen to
its heartbeat and understand
with the sentiment of ten men that
guilt and shame and love are
the most common illnesses we
nurture and that is what
distinguishes us from other
forms of living matter and
this is the source of all great sadness
and I am moving ahead
and I am watching myself
and I am sitting still
as I sit and stare and think
only of love and rising from
this metal world and moving
forward myself but I also know
that I am rooted down and this alone
is enough to keep me and this is
enough to make me retreat
to some silent place and consume
sweets to disguise my own sweetness
living just enough to confirm
horror and the lesson within
horror and the preservative
qualities of a jar of honey
left forgotten on
a foggy windowsill—
so if children and music
are the food of all life
then I should not be starving
but I find that these two things
were never enough and
oh, how the world
has done horrible things
to me, and all I crave
is movement and moving forward
into some nonspecific void
of drunkenness all I know
is that if I were truly brave
and not a coward I would
come inside instead of meandering
outside the door, I would
tell myself, “come in
you fool—we saved
a seat for you by the fire
as well as a plate
of meat and gravy
and you have
always been expected,
especially at this hour,
so, stop wandering around the
world and step inside yourself.”