Trying to Release This Hold on Myself for the New Year
weather 5 by Claire D.G., 4x6in, linocut monoprint, 2016
Do not ask me any questions.
I will always answer truthfully
though my answers may mean nothing
to you for, in truth, I know nothing.
Do not ask me for objects.
I will always offer what I have on me
though these things are only temporary
on earth. And, in truth, I own nothing.
Do not give me orders, nor make demands.
I will aid you in those ways I can
though you will need to help your hand
first. In truth, I can give you nothing.
All the days of my life have been spent
making sense of the formlessness of life.
I am now a thing of nothing
in a world made only of material
understood only through abstract trade.
My hands have fallen off my arms.
I cut out my tongue one night in New York
when I lay in bed, entrapped in a stoned paranoia
thinking of the many shames of myself
which are themselves formless, infinite,
That big damn fly keeps moving into the minefield of my vision
as I try to read a book of poetry from a distant acquaintance of mine,
who happens to be a far better writer than I. Each quick movement
awakens the frightened ape in me, as though this black blur were
a set of eyes in this low tree I call a home, waiting for me to fall
comfortably enough into a set of lines that only just capture
the limits of a future mastery, so that I am easily captured
by the careful mastery of what I imagine must be its own familiar jaws
in the wake of my own beautifully awed distraction. Time holds
its breath; evolution takes a step back to observe the consequences
of its absurd decisions. Humans and flies refuse to understand
each other's complicated places in the dense mirage of their own lives.
And somewhere, across a small handful of decaying fences, "Basket Case"
echoes across the neighborhood, bridging memory, desire,
and the audacity of other silly cliches, which vanish, then alight again
in those invisible spaces between quickly strummed notes,
small as atoms, which themselves hold an emptiness
as vast as that emptiness which looms above everything, forever.