mercifulserpent: (Default)
Detail of the Woods 
by Richard Siken

I looked at all the trees and didn't know what to do.

A box made out of leaves.
What else was in the woods? A heart, closing. Nevertheless.

Everyone needs a place. It shouldn't be inside of someone else.
I kept my mind on the moon. Cold moon, long nights moon.

From the landscape: a sense of scale.
From the dead: a sense of scale.

I turned my back on the story. A sense of superiority.
Everything casts a shadow.

Your body told me in a dream it's never been afraid of anything.


ETA: This is my favorite Siken poem: http://polymexina.livejournal.com/669534.html
mercifulserpent: (Default)


Anyway
by Richard Siken
He was pointing at the moon but I was looking at his hand.
He was dead anyway, a ghost. I'm surprised
I saw his hand at all. The moon, of course, is always
there—day moon, but it's still there; behind the clouds but
it's still there. I like seeing things: a hand, the moon, ice
in a highball glass. The moon? It's free, it doesn't
cost you anything so go ahead and look. Sustained attention
to anything—a focus, a scrutiny—always yields results.
I'd live on the moon probably except I think I'd miss
the moonlight, landscaping craters with clay roses in earthshine
and a reasonable excuse to avoid visiting hours
at the mental hospital. In space, no one can hear you
lying to your mom: "Can't make it, Mom. It's
a really long schlep." The coffee's weak and the coffee cake's
imaginary. You're not missing anything. Inside: a day roomRead more... )
mercifulserpent: (Default)
 1.
The blond boy in the red trunks is holding your head underwater
because he is trying to kill you,
and you deserve it, you do, and you know this,
and you are ready to die in this swimming pool
because you wanted to touch his hands and lips and this means
your life is over anyway.
You're in the eighth grade. You know these things.
You know how to ride a dirt bike, and you know how to do
long division,
and you know that a boy who likes boys is a dead boy, unless
he keeps his mouth shut, which is what you
didn't do,
because you are weak and hollow and it doesn't matter anymore.


2.
A dark-haired man in a rented bungalow is licking whiskey
from the back of your wrist.
He feels nothing,
keeps a knife in his pocket,
peels an apple right in front of you
while you tramp around a mustard-colored room
in your underwear
drinking Dutch beer from a green bottle.
After everything that was going to happen has happened
you ask only for the cab fare home
and realize you should have asked for more
because he couldn't care less, either way.

3.
The man on top of you is teaching you how to hate, sees you
as a piece of real estate,
just another fallow field lying underneath him
like a sacrifice.
He's turning your back into a table so he doesn't have to
eat off the floor, so he can get comfortable,
pressing against you until he fits, until he's made a place for himself
inside you.
The clock ticks from five to six. Kissing degenerates into biting.
So you get a kidney punch, a little blood in your urine.
It isn't over yet, it's just begun.

4.
Says to himself
The boy's no good. The boy is just no good.
but he takes you in his arms and pushes your flesh around
to see if you could ever be ugly to him.
You, the now familiar whipping boy, but you're beautiful,
he can feel the dogs licking is heart.
Who gets the whip and who gets the hoops of flame?
He hits you and he hits you and he hits you.
Desire driving his hands right into your body.
Hush, my sweet. These tornadoes are for you.
You wanted to think of yourself as someone who did these kinds of things.
You wanted to be in love
and he happened to get in the way.

5.
The green-eyed boy in the powder-blue t-shirt standing
next to you in the supermarket recoils as if hit,
repeatedly, by a lot of men, as if he has a history of it.
This is not your problem.
You have your own body to deal with.
The lamp by the bed is broken.
You are feeling things he's no longer in touch with.
And everyone is speaking softly,
so as not to wake one another.
The wind knocks the heads of the flowers together.
Steam rises from every cup at every table at once.
Things happen all the time, things happen every minute
that have nothing to do with us.

6.
So you say you want a deathbed scene, the knowledge that comes
before knowledge,
and you want it dirty.
And no one can ever figure out what you want,
and you won't tell them,
and you don't realize the one person in the world who loves you
isn't the one you thought it would be,
and you don't trust him to love you in a way
you would enjoy.
And the boy who loves you the wrong way is filthy.
And the boy who loves you the wrong way keeps weakening.
You thought if you handed over your body
he'd do something interesting.

7.
The stranger says there are no more couches and he will have to
sleep in your bed. You try to warn him, you tell him
you will want to get inside him, and ruin him,
but he doesn't listen.
You do this, you do. You take the things you love
and tear them apart
or you pin them down with your body and pretend they're yours.
So, you kiss him, and he doesn't move, he doesn't
pull away, and you keep on kissing him. And he hasn't moved,
he's frozen, and you've kissed him, and he'll never
forgive you, and maybe now he'll leave you alone.
mercifulserpent: (Default)
I am the wind and the wind is invisible, all the leaves tremble but I am invisible, blackbird over the dark field but I am invisible, what fills the balloon and what it moves through, knot without rope, bloom without flower, galloping without the horse, the spirit of the thing without the thing, location without dimension, without a within, song without throat, word without ink, wingless flight, dark boat in the dark night, shine without light, pure velocity, as the hammer is a hammer when it hits the nail and the nail is a nail when it meets the wood and the invisible table begins to appear out of mind, pure mind, out of nothing, pure thinking, hand of the mind, hand of the emperor, arm of the empire, void and vessel, sheath and shear, and wider, and deeper, more vast, more sure, through silence, through darkness, a vector, a violence, and even farther, and even worse, between, before, behind, and under, and even stronger, and even further, beyond form, beyond number, I labor, I lumber, I fumble forward through the valley as winter, as water, a shift in the river, I mist and frost, flexible and elastic to the task, a fountain of gravity, space curves around me, I thirst, I hunger, I spark, I burn, force and field, force and counterforce, agent and agency, push to your pull, parabola of will, massless mass and formless form, dreamless dream and nameless name, intent and rapturous, rare and inevitable, I am the thing that is hurtling towards you...

I become location, plum pit and apple core, I am motionless and you veer towards me, the eye to which you are relative, single point, silent witness, there to your here, I decide and calibrate, magnetized for your revelation, the doors burst open, I am your outcome, the verb in the sentence, intransitive, end of the road, hook and bait, polestar and checkmate, time and space as I observe them serve me like gravity, lamp to your moth, dot to your map, home and heart and hearth, a selfishness, submit, surrender, I am your arrival, there is no refusal, we are here, you see, together, we are already here…

The Love Song of the Square Root of Minus One (i) | Richard Siken
mercifulserpent: (Default)

Boot Theory
Richard Siken

A man walks into a bar and says:
                                                Take my wife–please.
                                                                                    So you do.
            You take her out into the rain and you fall in love with her
                                                and she leaves you and you’re desolate.
You’re on your back in your undershirt, a broken man
                        on an ugly bedspread, staring at the water stains
                                                                                                on the ceiling.
                  And you can hear the man in the apartment above you
                                    taking off his shoes.
You hear the first boot hit the floor and you’re looking up,
                                                                                    you’re waiting
            because you thought it would follow, you thought there would be
                        some logic, perhaps, something to pull it all together
                  but here we are in the weeds again,
                                                                                         here we are
in the bowels of the thing: your world doesn’t make sense.
                        And then the second boot falls.
                                                            And then a third, a fourth, a fifth.

            A man walks into a bar and says:
                                                Take my wife–please.
                                                                        But you take him instead.
You take him home, and you make him a cheese sandwich,
            and you try to get his shoes off, but he kicks you
                                                                              and he keeps kicking you.
            You swallow a bottle of sleeping pills but they don’t work.
                        Boots continue to fall to the floor
                                                                        in the apartment above you.
You go to work the next day pretending nothing happened.
            Your co-workers ask
                                    if everything’s okay and you tell them
                                                                                    you’re just tired.
            And you’re trying to smile. And they’re trying to smile.

A man walks into a bar, you this time, and says:
                                    Make it a double.
            A man walks into a bar, you this time, and says:
                                                                                 Walk a mile in my shoes.
A man walks into a convenience store, still you, saying:
                                    I only wanted something simple, something generic…
            But the clerk tells you to buy something or get out.
A man takes his sadness down to the river and throws it in the river
                        but then he’s still left
with the river. A man takes his sadness and throws it away
                                                      but then he’s still left with his hands.

mercifulserpent: (Default)

You Are Jeff
Richard Siken


1

There are two twins on motorbikes but one is farther up the road, beyond the hairpin turn, or just before it, depending on which twin you are in love with at the time. Do not choose sides yet. It is still to your advantage to remain impartial. Both motorbikes are shiny red and both boys have perfect teeth, dark hair, soft hands. The one in the front will want to take you apart, and slowly. His deft and stubby fingers searching every shank and lock for weaknesses. You could love this boy with all your heart. The other brother only wants to stitch you back together. The sun shines down. It is a beautiful day. Consider the hairpin turn. Do not choose sides yet.

Profile

mercifulserpent: (Default)
mercifulserpent

November 2014

S M T W T F S
      1
2345 678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 19th, 2017 06:42 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios