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Hurtle forward

I stumble first and then
I hurtle forward
Dad liked to write with a fountain pen
I could never make that work—
The ink splatters, stains my fingers,
and blue scratches of ink distort my words
Michael said the rule to clear

writing is this: “Think to yourself
what do I want to say and then say it”
An exquisite sensitivity to the pose
and structure of the natural body
A delicate tact in the definition of
muscle articulation and
an acute feeling for the

qualities of flesh and the texture of
intense animate emotion and ideas
While I hurtle forward I don’t know
my feelings and can’t predict
what I’ll feel about you when…
Memory doesn’t show
as much as it twists

We came close to happiness
before a swirl of shame and
bitterness came and stopped us—
our own peculiar, relentless
whirlpool of sadness
There will come a time, you know,
when no one will try to touch you

In my twenties I learned that
if I don’t take care of myself
no one will—
I searched for the rare and precious,
for the unique fragments that epitomize
the design and essence of expression,
its mad swirl of sexual ecstasy

Howard was really stoned and
we didn’t know what that was
We were at the New Jersey shore
and stopped at the soft ice-cream joint
Howard and I were sent in with
everyone’s ice-cream cone order
Howard proudly proclaimed to the

clerk “I’ll have two chocolates
and (triumphantly!) a chocolate
No, that’s two vanillas and…a vanilla!”
“Yes and dip that,” I added
I’m fortunate—the sex I have
with my ladies is quite intense
and pleasing but M, as good

as she was in all matters sexual,
was especially good at this:
she knew precisely how to kiss
One day I came to her place
and for some reason
she wanted to fuck on the floor—
good it was, but hard on the knees

Perhaps we didn’t have much
else in common as we drove each
other, hurtled each other, and yes sir—
that’ll be two chocolates and…a chocolate!
Oh my god you’re beautiful
You look just like my friend Alice did
when she was younger

Beauty evolves for itself—
Its reason is ecstasy and gladness
Always pleasant with those
who barely knew her
Grandma could be
irascible, bad-tempered,
selfish and angry with us

We’re a turbulent, writhing, longing,
betraying, creating, destroying, loving,
loathing, mess of instincts and impulses
so deeply buried within us that we can
scarcely look at them—without
some form of genius to explicate it all,
they’d have to lock us up

 

 

-February 17, 2018-