Posts Tagged ‘unrequited everything’

When you’re following an angel
Does it mean you have to throw your body off a building?
They Might Be Giants, “She’s an Angel

Vanilla butterfly rests on a buff grass bloom,
and in the kitchen, a gyroscope spins

down on a heart-pine table.
On just her feet she waits

on the pinhead between
nothing to lose and everything,

considering the rabbit who can balance
teacups thanks to instinct,

vibrissae that prop the ball
on the sea lion’s snout.

The sense is draining from the sink,
clues caught in the sweep around an eye

that wants to keep things just like this,
a dry calm of not knowing.


Liner note

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Irrelevant. Irrelevant.
A joy of my invention,
engendered and gestated in
a polycarbide bell that rings,
persistent as a nightjar’s trill,
as Pseudacris crucifer crucifer’s pipe,
at the strike of my mind
advancing on the thought of you.

Impaired, I cannot see the sense of how
my shrill and tinny timbre might
speak anything profound enough
to draw you near.

The lack of limb I must account for.
Vast flights between we two I cannot scale.

But suppose a pose, a fond exchange,
a cleverness of thought, might shape the crucible
for your own mind’s reagents to conspire in,
inspire you to reciprocate. But even then

deciduous affection falls like teeth of mammals
grown too old for fairy tales,
bone and ash to soil and loam lain fallow
‘til a new admirer cultivates attention there:
a memory to eradicate, a notice to exterminate.

Liner note

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I admire my front row desk,
its tribute to Pythagoras, carved long
enough ago that the incisions’ edges bevel.

It brands me as a cheater, though,
and apart from the geometry, it’s scored
in shapes that, if I may correct,
are not from any human chest,
and names of boys and girls I’ve never met.

I wonder if you saw it,
hearts and theorem,
on your way to leave your note for Laura.

You’ve soldered her name to the board,
soldiered ahead of the jeering pack once
everyone knew. I suppose it’s admirable.

What I don’t understand is why
the ornament that caught your eye was one
you thought not all that bright,
the dimmest of our classroom constellations,
too dull to see your penmanship as yours.

And should you pin that damsel
down, and, grown, lift her past a threshold,
what will she do but engineer a way
to keep your consoles out of sight?
Game night only when she might arrange
her own encounters someplace else.


Liner note

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The Experiment

Despite my grandstanding, showboating,
boasting my joy in solitude, you
and I may be better together than alone.

Bodies (yours and mine),
fingertips, the backs of my knees,
the space between my navel
and my hipbone’s inner arc.
A covenant.
Sometimes, all of these, in an absence of space.
Our voices. Silence.
An umbrellaless dash to the car.
A day when I’ve frayed like a ribbon in the wash.
An unexpected bounty.
Chores and unpleasantries. A crisis.
A Sunday and six ways.
The constant progress of time.

Talk for a while, or don’t.
Discover whether my hand fits in yours.
Take a step farther than the last one.
Discuss and define. Argue. Correct. Attempt
a recovery from freefall. Endeavor
to forgive. Write
and read and reread and rewrite.
Leave some country undiscovered.
Observe the constant progress of time.




Liner note

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