THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN HIGH SCHOOL

wondrous and beating and naked and
filling the porcelain with shit

and menstrual blood and impatient to be beaten
into the walls

i was born a white man drinking coke
and snorting it

unable to look mixed race children
in the eye, fleeing every palm-sized

farm town in my corduroys
while every heart pumping rusted

fluids mixed with alcoholic beverages
licks the ground

only to tolerate these sad,
retro designs

if my phone dies, then i, too,
shall dissipate,

into this smoking garden,
into this waxen earth

where i have already posted the rest
of my black skin inside a floppy disk

MIRRORS BY JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE

tomorrow , we become different people
and our names must fit us

throughout ,

and i am thinking something about
something never being the real thing

if the only constant change is constant
change , and if the real thing is only wheat and bone .

and now i am here i am reading I AM THE REAL THING
everywhere :

protruding bellies , men who write about women who love men ,
and dirty fingernails cupping unwanted lumps
on your chest

you , yesterday in flesh .
and i am thinking something about flesh

how it is always good , as a good containing thing
must be

and i am really the only real thing , here
wheat and bone and bones

cinnamon baby , writing HOW THE WHITE MEN
GOT THEIR COUNTRY in jest

writing I AM THE REAL THING in this Ghetto (
the stretch of garnered land that’s killed itself , over and over )

and nothing like flesh .
this is just another mirror , looking at I G G Y , and everything

made of brass that looks nothing like it , relapsing
to the best place to feel like something gall ,

and bloodless .

INTERLUDE

The piece

was beautiful: Lady Di revealed

her breasts                          her bones

fell apart into my hands

like moth-kissed

wool and  skin  mere fiber

settling in my palm

as though it were the bottom

of the ocean                        I am

a pulp of you, convening Yangtze

bloody/orgy/whiskey, overflowing

with sadness

A Conversation with Zadie Smith and Chris Ware

Culture

We are all in our own little
cults. Sun. Moon. Heaven’s
gates. We all meet strangers
with something to sell: baubles,
trinkets, ways of life, carrying
around briefcases, or wrapped
in white robes, trying to wriggle
these people into our grasp,
little games of thumb war.
Talking to you is black ops,
all sneak and spook and
night vision, a necessary
evil. You want the truth?
Truth is, you couldn’t handle
it any more than I could.
You and I are like a video
I saw on YouTube once,
a praying mantis stumbling,
smashed over and over
by a merciful human hand.
Watch as a long, thin string
of blackness winds its way
out of the crushed abdomen,
dancing an occult dance
to a tune only it can hear.

We are all in our own little
life cycles. The Kool-Aid
wants so badly to be drunk.

Have at it

When you have cut, torn, burnt and broken up with your body
When you have kissed and made up with your body
When you have shaved and you bled
When you have cried happiness because you don’t want a child
When you have kept quiet and let Him fuck you
When you have cursed your mother
When you have dreamt of a father who won’t ever exist
When you have left a man for the other
When you have left a country for another
When you have laughed until your tears folded
When you have understood that everyone who is not a man is your sister
When you have done all of this, been able to get up the next day and thrown yourself over your first breath, that’s when you know you are a woman, and that you haven’t won.
Not just yet.

AVOCADO SANDWICH

yes or no
saying I love you to someone is like saying you’re purr-fect to your cat
yes because we can never truly know if our loved ones believe us
yes because years of study have taught me that cats have little understanding of even the most basic linguistic joke

fact
when excited, guinea pigs may repeatedly perform little hops into the air
this is called ‘popcorning’

fact
that night I woke up at 3am and found you perched like an owl on my kitchen counter with my t-shirt stretched over your knees and your fingers in my jar of peanut butter I ‘popcorned’ without knowing what it was called

yes or no
being present means being aware and open to the pain of knowing how everyone else is to varying extents absent
yes because ignorance is bliss

yes or no
I’m fun in real life

fact
I’m fun in real life

yes or no
‘avocado sandwich’ would be a good name for a poem

Anne Carson on Proust