are sad—go figure—
like little enjambments we cry
for our lost intimacies. There's never
just one. They're fat rodents
skittering in the bamboo.
We are bullshark pissed at the losing,
we're creatures of mighty hallucinations,
of habit, of mostly latent risk.
I see my mate in the bed with me,
but in this nightmare of lost verity
he is a car length away.
His face morphs from full plate
to snake to so-small-it's-almost-gone.
What's the bitter pill I'm swallowing?
Little blue nervous-makers, tiny blenders
of burn. A reminder
that boiling isn't always the answer.
Richard Simmons taught me
to sauté when I was three. But then
I forgot and started boiling things
for their broths, and look what I got:
soggy, lecherous, makeshift eats.
A boiled onion is only a fraction.
A boiled grackle, a millimeter.
But that's so many years ago—
before words stuck
in my thirty throats weaving tender
tendrils from their vowels. Today
is another story altogether.
Today we are sad, me and my throats.
We wake up that way
after certain events we can't name.
I hear my throats cawing
through the window—I locked them out,
one thing leading to another
around midnight. They are meaner
than rooks, uglier than magpies.
My throats are a folktale
their eyes into treetops
or spelling my thoughts inside out.
"On the Exile
of My Throats"” germinated in cliché: I was about to
turn thirty and things started to crack. Ho hum. But here's the real juice:
a. Richard Simmons
really did teach me to sauté when I was three. Remember his combo
exercise/cooking TV show? I practiced my skills one afternoon when no
one was looking and might have burned down the house had Richard not been
such a good teacher. I loved that man--so much so that on one occasion
when I opened a McDonald's Happy Meal and found a plastic Chicken McNugget
toy with curly hair and a sweat band, I was certain it was providence.
Makes This World is a good book, and the in the introduction Lewis
Hyde talks about the story of Coyote throwing his eyes into a tree. I've
morphed Coyote into crows into throats in my poem.