Five Poems

IN PAIN

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.
In pain.

FATIGUE

Reality intrudes
From up-close,
Its sounds, sights, smells Too intense—
Or too saturated—
To handle.

Thought retires
To the far
Corners of consciousness, Its fine distinctions
Too minute—
Or too evanescent—
To discern.

The body as
The mind’s dumbbell
(You feel dumb
and Nothing rings a bell)
Is overburdened:
Heavy eyelids,
Leaden legs,
Slow associations.

The heft of the real
Crushes tired torsos
Under their own weight.

DWINDLING

The feeling that your time
Is dwindling
Presupposes that it was yours In the first place.
Wrong!
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.

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT

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
from
the
rest,
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?

Four Chalked Leaves
Thomas De Monaco
2017

05 THE BODY

Reset (series)
Nicolas Garner
2016
Undercurrents (film stills)
Albert Omoss
2017

92i Veyron

The Edited Body for a Particular Purpose