A considerable time of my life has been spent []browned out in a state of suggestibility. Maybe a percent or two. Browned out I was trying to tell my dad about porn, with the TV off. Don’t know what I said, []when came to he was telling me that sex can be a beautiful, shared thing. His voice was one of general correction, yet had the feeling that he was correcting himself of something he had said to me while I wasn’t there, like when you came to eat puttanesca at my parents’ house



and called my dad a historian of emotions. Showed you a poem called “And.”


[. . . ]


Baby boomers have had a profound impact, generally inescapable by friends of mine who are not much []older. It’s almost as if, thinking about how they acted toward their parents then, they had held their parents at bay



so they could become self-supportive. Mitch was a man who smothered his own mother in Australia, because she was sick and asked him to. In this way, he never came back to America, where he was an important anthropologist. For a time, my dad lived in his house with him and his wife, and I can call this man a materialist and feel right. Otherwise Mitch was a horrible and despicable man. His wife visited my mom, my dad, and me. She told us that he had driven through a steep ravine after being warned not to, being begged not to. He let her face break with rocks in 

Argentina, and he let highwaymen take the sun. He let his wife get her face broken in Argentina. It was Mom’s birthday. She smiled at the sky in her bathrobe standing 


under the atrium where passion flowers curved upward. Don’t look up to a bird. Carolyn tried to tell me this about drugs. Before graduation, she showed me a book, it had pictures, and it was written by a couple of guys who had smoked a lot in the 70’s and 80’s.


The authors talk about how they couldn’t write without cartoons. Carolyn never learned how to drive. She took her bicycle to school from the French Quarter. Thought the book was about stoners, because these men had to talk in cartoons and were cartoony. What I didn’t understand then was that these men no longer smoked weed and were speaking from their adult lives, a horrifying and hard place in which weed had lost its central meaning. 


When she was a baby Katie tore her hair out and threw her shit on the walls. Her father took a weird pleasure in telling me this in front of her, and I only knew this because he had a mouth.



This was actually a good thing. It made her laugh when you said the same thing over and over, in a way that made you money but didn’t really mean anything to William Blake, yet meant everything to the movie of the living child, driving its horse away.


[ …]


That night our friend fell off Norbert’s stoop into a concussion and died. We talked about it, about kayaking, pulling into the marsh grass to collect things into jars. There’s one world if you can get there, and there were so many that had finally arrived there and asked us if we should build the city again just to eat in a music box.



We have to hold each other and cry just to eat something.



Who knows but that, on lower frequencies, speak for you. Think about Machete Mike who circles in my uncle. He is drunk. My uncle brushes the tree



where the shakes live. I am inside my throat. Boosterism: jerk off in the art gallery sometimes. There are so many bridges. One person says a bridge is confessional, another person that a bridge is political, and yet another a mockery of how people talk about either, which bores me. Would worry that I hurt my brain, except half the car is gone. Allen used to be a competitive reader. Over Mardi Gras one year he read the Selected Ashbery and Don Quixote. Want to write a poem to build a birdhouse to talk to Mom in my sleep. My mom is not a metal worker. She is not a bell intoning a flat line. She is my





[. . . ]


The living child who crumpled flowers in her hands or played piano, I remember. She takes all of my drugs and she makes me take them in an overdub that tries to be funny. Everyone loves and lets each other know. Tightens the moon for its love. The blood center tells me I have HIV on Christmas Eve. []A mistake. Did not know this. This is okay, because she loves me. []One time Jean-Paul lit a bottle rocket while Allen and I took turns steering, and wouldn’t let go, he was so lonely. Emotional non-sequiturs are the most beautiful thing in the world. The man with the letter at the door is a goth, like Jean-Paul and his wife, but he might as well have been a bumble bee with guffaws of weeds. Miss the point when he gives me the letter. See myself in prayer.



In my prayer hold my hands out and wait for things to come in them and come out in a poem about fashioning a stick onto the fridge door but not in that cadence. Maybe she []writes this way out of desperation.



Want to build a birdhouse out of my mother and the ringing in my ears which never leaves me and births me. When I try to relax, I read a book with pictures of dead people, the living ones, who fuck you when you are in a dream wearing antlers silently weeping. Her husband is a despicable man, or he is not a man at all, he is a bird that walks with grace along the ties of the tracks. []Wouldn’t know for six months. Asked Allen for old poems because I was unhappy with my own, and he said he had burned them by which he meant deleted them. His girlfriend had torqued too much while blowing him, and he lost a ball, and the antibiotics they gave him tingled his body for half a year. He was a metal worker, but he quit, and we huddled there in the sand on the wharf, where rats go. The unconscious in the ear bud.


I’ve been writing a poem about Winn Dixie grocery bags full of money



folded up at the end of a whip in the mouth of a live feed from helicopters that sound like a horse breaking wind in such a dark place. Don’t understand why this is racist or prisonerish or slave-like. Something falls out then metamorphoses. A protocol that has no soul but talks to you anyway over its horrible crinkling.



I hope you never laugh again when you should be in bed pulling someone with the breath of a bonsai tree onto your chest.



Katie would see blue gels when she looked up. There are small oil rigs



that you can see from the bridge, still producing, and in the mud bottom several planes are lodged, and at a depth some feet over our head is a commercial plane. The bridge feeds into bayous and channels where Allen and I found a Bahaus unfinished: two walk-in freezers and a shag carpet. We did not actually touch. We were just passing. There will be so many spiders tripping over each other and over in the rhythm. You do not get pulled over. I feel my heart, why was it my friend?



We were stabilizing topless beer cans of fossils, because, you see, we will only take gifts from ourselves. We will never return to exchange an apricot, a raisin. Please God help me find my phone. Katie and I cut each other. We didn’t know how to have sex or we were waiting. This is how transformations should feel, all that blond hair, shimmering over the Atlantic.

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