Monday, June 24, 2002


I wrote a new poem.

It has no obscenities, which makes me nervous. I always worry that I'm not gritty enough if I don't use some nice four-letter words. Didn't Queen make a song about that? "Four-letter words you make the rocking world go round!"

Here it is:

The Anatomy of Distance

an oil painting
In the Medical Academy
by a Dutch master in 1641.
The walls are in shadow,
appear to be black.
Our walls are blue.

    I. The Doctors:

In the auditorium,
in our room,
spectators surround the body.
One touches
it and looks at
He doesn't mean
to touch the body
in a way that has any kindness in it,
As your fingers attempt to sign
with their grasp,
but his hands are as gentle
as the soft astonished faces
of the men staring at us
as we stare at them.

    II. The Body:

The body does not appear
to be sleeping
but dead.
Not just the pallor
but the lack of eyelashes.
The upper lip curls
in ecstasy or disdain.
Although the kidneys vena cava intestines
splay into our faces,
point to the sky
and our eyes,
the body
is the only one
who escapes
in this picture.
The one
truly alone and hidden.

As you and I are hidden
from each other
by our bodies,
the deeper we thrust
our cutting
fondling instruments
the farther we float
away like unmoored boats.
Until we lie
next to one another
on the same bed
in different rooms
the same color as
the inside of an eyelid
or eggshell,
the same color blue.

No comments: