State of Things, or, Something Else

The building where I live is ‘commercial only’
so I throw on torn shorts & a cut-off t-shirt
on the way back from the communal shower.

The shower has flies gathered in the corners,
hair clumps on the floor, a note on the wall:
“Clean your fucking hair!!!” & some nights
I dream of stepping on snake sized maggots.

There are no windows in the hallway.
Half of the bulbs burnt out months ago.

Inside my studio a broken radio has been
speaking Spanish for several hours.

I have no idea what anyone is talking about,
but unknown sounds sooth my ignorance.

I already forgot four things
I was going to write about,
proving true this statement.

But I promise they were good.

Really, really good.

Please trust me.

The Spanish station plays ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
and silences “little high/ little low”,
but keeps everything about murder,
guns, and seeing the shadow of man.

I find these topics to be much more offensive.

I am a strange mix of strictly open-minded
and hyper-vigilant to opinions gathered
through a drowning emotional perception.

The center of my body is missing,
hips and shoulders capped with
opposing hamburger buns.

Mountains scroll in the middle of the emptiness.

Thoughts shift to falling asleep in a tent,
dog sleeping at foot, with a storm coming in.

Wind sharpens through pines and soon tin-can
raindrops will slip through trees. Leaves start

to rustle; maybe I will become critter
dinner. I am sleeping before the rain

begins and I awake during the witching hour,
realizing the root beneath me (which concerned
me while setting up) has helped me to sleep.

My constant back pain is gone; support, steadfast;
despite speculations, this maple root has healed me.

That is why, rather than fearing bedbugs,

Tonight I will create a pen name
and tell no one.

Tomorrow I will write a million books
and win a million prizes.

But for now

I do my best to drift my breath
and bite you in the tongue nails
before you can sculpt excuses.

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