Sunday, July 02, 2006

today's bad poem


How long a citizen of that white silence

was I, did I know enough not to name

all things winter, even my own skin,

even the edge of the water, its strangeness,

its molecular tongue, all grief

added to it, all the words I knew,

the ones sewn into my pockets like warding,

how long did I sleep in that life

of night, what did I guard

with my breath while my bones leeched away,

with the salting of love

everything that morning

seemed made of snow, statuaries of vapor,

and you at the center of it

reading about atoms,

about that which has no mass,

displaces nothing,

drifting through all this life and unlife,

to whom could I speak

like a stranger

and in what language

struggle to articulate

even this hour

filling up with the imprimatur of dust,

and when I dream

of my body perforated by starlight

reaching me like pale roots

through dark soil, what am I

except awake, except a name, except lost?


Matthew Guenette said...

I call your bad poem...I wrote the following after J. Bell dared me to write the worst poem ever. How can we make it worse? Throw your darts, young Jedi.

The Worst Reverend Jim Ignatowski Impression Ever

Jeff Tweedy, Harvey Pekar, and the Bishop Desmond Tutu walk into a bar.
The bartender says, free drinks to whoever can do the best
Reverend Jim Ignatowski impression.
Tweedy looks up at the TV. There’s a commercial on: two young woman in an airy city loft sing the praises of a fat-free yogurt. The tall sexy black one says, it’s cum-on-my-face good. The white one, cute and waifish, says, no,
it’s reaming my creamy shit chute good.
Pekar draws an escape route on a napkin. There’s a place we can go,
he says, up in Canada, a city on a lake where they recycle everything
and the downtown looks like a subdivision.
I skip out the back with the Bishop Desmond Tutu. We jump in his cab. He drives us recklessly through the dark until daybreak, where we come upon
a clear, cold river. We will fish by hand, he says.
A school of yearling trout pucker the surface with tiny mouths too small to take our wiggling finger-bait. Then the brood stock arrive, striped, slow-finning through the shallows. They are genetic experiments, a cross
between trout and tiger, their hind legs are just starting to sprout
from either side of their anal fins, which are caked with blood.
I’m worried, I say. Desmond Tutu just smiles. This could be the worst Reverend Jim Ignatowski impression ever.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Paul. Thank you for this...

Matthew Guenette said...


Please forgive me...

Paul said...

Forgive you? For what?

Anonymous said...

this is something amazing

Anonymous said...

this is something amazing

Paul said...

Thank you, doubly.