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when the body’s reckless alarm
stirs you to the precipice of abandon,
you get one last lucid moment
that sorts out ninety-nine
percent of what you’ve done
as oblivion-ready—
some stimulus.

i wish a robot
could live for me
while i sleep,
a double
that accomplishes the perfection
i couldn’t do singly.

my mascot-shadow supposed
to guide me through living,
but since it remained
primevally invisible,
i had to invent
what i had to wish for
and what i had to be careful of—
i had to make a mythos
to invent, let alone fortify,
the blood in my veins,
deprived of oxygen—i had
to formulate, populate
the tormenting landscape:
not even in my fantasies
could i make a utopia.
and my meaning was always sabotaged
by someone else’s meaning,
by an inherited meaning,
by a word that could not hold
in a corrupting sea,
by a word that grew white and dad
with salt.
a word needed and wretched.
and horrible—
to be so torn by elements.
one doesn’t play
to lose,
and one doesn’t create
to introduce the created
to devastation. decay
so rarely has been part of our design,
we design our histories
with damnation
and immortality.
fool’s fortune as to what’s "good for the soul."
and that, too, is time’s invention,
no better than
a hasty eulogy.

i want to get in before i’m shuttered out,
"grandfathered," if you will—
but in order to do so i have to
put my agitation in amber,
gild my guilt. i’m fossilized:
administrators like plateaus more than they will admit.
and the dream of recovering
the creamy, innocent mind
—or at least the naive
generative one—
is reduced to an academic exercise.

whose hand in this chamber must i force
for them to see this stamp is not a farce,
these players and layers
should be paid
by tile, not mosaic—
for instead of moving
between preening and punished
they’d finish.

i’m not relinquishing yet,
though silence is in my blood
and it’s a family tradition
only to speak at death
—and i’m trying to break that custom.

Posted 09/16/10
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