The Fastest Man Alive
One note played just right
stops me in my tracks, surrounds me
with such a pleasing nimbus of white light
that I don’t even want to move.
I’m riveted, rooted, waiting for what comes next
while normally, I’m gone
before I’m arrived. Normally it takes only a fraction
of a second for me to understand what
needs doing & to do it. But my speed is my doom,
a giant treadmill I seem always upon.
Every morning I wake up in the same place
I went to sleep; I can never get ahead!
I leave my problems in the dust & somehow
they meet me at the finish.
The time has come to reconsider my careen;
what good has come from bouncing away fast?
They say time is a thing that runs out,
that my buzz is nothing more than a flash.
*previously published in Coconut Magazine - Issue 2
Early morning & I’m already
cornered, thoughts scattered
like sun glint. I wish that, at least
first thing, you’d point your spears
somewhere else but your red shoes
are stunning nevertheless.
For my part, I can call down a rain of comets;
I know how to hit you where you live.
Every five minutes you think you’ve got me
trapped & only sometimes you’re right.
You forget that I come from a future
where you can change your hair color
to match your intentions, you can read
the instructions before you phase in.
Overhead, the grey cloud swelling with thunder
masks the sky, bright orange as the sun’s light
starts to move & find its way.
Whatever you throw at me, I’m ready.
My strength comes from someplace
even I can’t imagine: I have these two mystical devices
attached just below my waist.
I can walk out whenever I want.
Lurking, encroaching: the man
whose head I can see clear through.
Folding pink mass that sparks
with each step he takes. I’m trapped
in the air just above myself
but realize that’s what’s saving me.
Crushing, rending: the beast
with a face like green fire, asterism
of star-bright eyes. He says he’d pull me apart
if he could, he’d grind my human sadness
to dust. He says he has no power
over those already so fractured.
Lumbering, inhuman: a cybernetic
gorilla, all wired & mechanical. The inexorable
jaw, a light like purpose in his eyes.
The night air is cool on the street
where I grew up. I feel safe, this most
primal protector, vigilant.
Yelling, pleading: me, asleep, & me,
trying to get myself up. Just eyes & teeth.
It is day & night. My voice is not loud enough
for me to hear. The only movement
is a bird’s wing which grows & grows
though nobody can see it.
Jumbled, confused: an army.
Frogs who walk like men seem always to lament
the state of their souls. They want something
I have, something I didn’t know I had & can’t
find. There is a knock at the door, a princess
who’ll sacrifice herself to save me.
Released, relieved: I’m nowhere to be found.
Two men drag another man through water
again & again. “To cleanse,” they say
though the man screams & scrapes to fill himself
with what’s been washed away. The stars above—
I am one of them.
How Little it Matters
How little we know, clueless
walking blood pumps,
attendants at the organic filling station.
Faith is my fuel, brute desires
loshes around my tank but alas
the gauge is desperately low.
How little it matters, our misty & in
accurateaccumulations. We have found
no entrance to the four-chambered heart
or to its tarnished flipside
the almighty head. If it’s true
there are two sides to every coin,
that everything mixes up with everything,
then why should we be surprised
at these howling mongrel lives of ours?