Post-op (or After My Slight Coma Several Things had Changed)
I hit the cartoon cat
over the head with a mallet,
stars spouted from its eyes
and it wavered back and forth
until the bleeding stopped,
as if it had righted itself. The cat
took the mallet from me
and hit me over the head with it.
After I awoke from my concussion
and my bulging eye sockets came into focus,
I was holding a dead cat.
2 (With Mel)
I saw a man
that walks like your brother.
Hunched exactly like him,
it reminded me of
badminton or shuttlecock
and sitting in your yard.
Of how you used to collect
women’s rings because
they had magical powers.
(This poem occurs after the lighthouse goes out)
Against the sea-set-sea, the lighthouse man, in night-gown
calls at his lantern. His wife yawns
and turns her eyes on.
Awakening at the table she begins
her steady squeezing, from its tail to neck
pouring old milk from an old cat—wringing him
completely dry, before her husband returns and
desires a glass.
Between sleep and wake,
holding consciousness only because of
noises that sound like slamming doors,
the sound recoils in thought,
to certain specific doors
and certain specific thoughts.
Everywhere feels the itch
inside a cast,
the constant spin of upside-down
and threat of blood to the head.
All my bandage-dressings
were pilgrims and turkeys,
made of felt and stitched
into the skin of my face.
They clutch under my chin,
over my eyes, and pull at the
little space I have left.
They hold me together
so why, I am not thankful.
I think of waking up
and rolling down a hill
like children do, but suddenly
I’m inside a clarinet. Big holes illuminate
above me and darkness sets in
as the giant fingers touch
to create sound. With all this wet blowing
making me shiver, I never get better.
Slowly with all the air around me, I go deaf.
No one had any pitch
talking in a twang of the daily.
All the people moving so slowly
I could see the trails of ghastly white
lights they left behind, that seemed
like impassable white walls
and slowly dissipate
like the clouds after snowfall.
My trail of skin following the same
procedure, falling off in clumps,
peeling from scratches. Dry
and pulling away from the anchors
of organs and bone.