Thomas De Monaco
An animal that gnaws
On its own entrails,
A spear that pierces
A calm human countenance,
A spade that deracinates
One’s entire world (soil, roots, and all),
A stone that hits
The stones of the bone
(or of kidneys and the gallbladder),
A mill that grinds
The flesh and, neatly,
Packages it into a body.
Its sounds, sights, smells Too intense—
Or too saturated—
To the far
Corners of consciousness, Its fine distinctions
Or too evanescent—
The body as
The mind’s dumbbell
(You feel dumb
and Nothing rings a bell)
The heft of the real
Crushes tired torsos
Under their own weight.
The feeling that your time
Presupposes that it was yours In the first place.
Time is not a resource
But a window within a window
Within a window...
Whatever you do with it,
You are only doodling
On its frame,
On the margins of a book,
Or on a cellphone screen—
All in a vain desire to winnow
Yourself from this aging body,
For instance, by winning
A chance to upload your memory
On a hard-drive of portmanteau consciousness.
To have an AI twin.
To escape oblivion
In a universe of ones and zeros.
NO, NO, NOSTALGIA...
No, no, nostalgia will not unsettle me.
For that to ’ve happened,
I would have had to have
A home (and to have the “have”).
And an analgesic won’t heal my homesickness.
For what it’s worth, that would be analogous to
Curing pain in a phantom limb, which took no part
In the organism deprived of it.
Yes, yes, yesterday (I’m stuttering)
I was nostalgic for nostalgia.
All that has passed, a phantom body stitched
To a living limb.
there where the guardians are far from angels
and the angles of fluorescent light and gray concrete
are so sharp that imagination bleeds to death,
a cell is set apart
its windowless walls a second skin for the one it holds,
albeit without pores, senses, or sense—
a coffin for being buried in oneself,
driving the last shreds of life mad
with desire for contact, tact, touch,
antigone’s cave for hundreds of thousands
of antigones in a beehive with neither bees nor hiving activity.
how long ‘till the honey of experience runs dry
when extracted from an isolated body
peremptorily metamorphosed into a corpse?