You were a “victim of semiromantic anarchism
In its most irrational form.”
I was “ill at ease in an ambiguous world
Deserted by Providence.” We drank wine
And made love in the afternoon. The neighbors’
TVs were tuned to soap operas.
The unhappy couples spoke little.
There were interminable pauses.
Soft organ music. Someone coughing.
“It’s like Strindberg’s ‘Dream Play’,” you said.
“What is?” I asked and got no reply.
I was watching a spider on the ceiling.
It was the kind St. Veronica ate in her martyrdom.
“That woman subsisted on spiders only,”
I told the janitor when he came to fix the faucet.
He wore dirty overalls and a derby hat.
Once he had been an inmate of a notorious state institution.
“I am no longer Jesus,” he informed us happily.
He believed only in devils now.
“This building is full of them,” he confided.
One could see their horns and tails
If one caught them in their baths.
“He’s got Dark Ages on his brain,” you said.
“Who does?” I asked and got no reply.
The spider had the beginnings of a web
Over our heads. The world was quiet
Except when one of us took a sip of wine.
[an except from Michael Dickman’s Flies]
Whatever it is I was made for I haven’t started
The morning makes its way up the street as a loose pack of wild dogs
Their invisible metal teeth
welcoming all the birds in the neighborhood
The stars are wrong
I was just whispering
into my glass
Look it’s nighttime again
I’ve been standing in front of a mirror for a hundred years
My glass clothes tossed across the bed
Trying things on trying things off
There just there
That’s as far as I can go
Singing the one song I made up the only thing I have memorized—
You’re a dog
You’re a fucking dog
My body is a dream of meat
It stinks and
I dress it up carefully and stick new Band-Aids on and take it outside so it can see and be in love
I hang it up on a hook
on a moon
to turn in slow circles
Open all night
Are you open all night?
I’m open all night.
My face is wrapped tighter than anyone’s face
If I was to wake up and walk around and wave my arms beneath the trees then I’m doing it
My head pointed up my eyes full of leaves
I wanted to be made out of nothing but your voice
and be more beautiful
and I was made