Don’t kill yourself. Don’t kill yourself.
Don’t. Eat a donut, be a blown nut.
That is, if you’re going to kill yourself,
stand on a street corner rhyming
seizure with Indonesia, and wreck it with
racket. Allow medical terms.
Rave and fail. Be an absurd living ghost,
if necessary, but don’t kill yourself.
Let your friends know that something has
passed, or be glad they’ve guessed.
But don’t kill yourself. If you stay, but are
bat crazy you will batter their hearts
in blooming scores of anguish; but kill
yourself, and hundreds of other people die.
Poison yourself, it poisons the well;
shoot yourself, it cracks the bio-dome.
I will give badges to everyone who’s figured
this out about suicide, and hence
refused it. I am grateful. Stay. Thank
you for staying. Please stay. You
are my hero for staying. I know
about it, and am grateful you stay.
Eat a donut. Rhyme opus with lotus.
Rope is bogus, psychosis. Stay.
Hocus Pocus. Hocus Pocus.
Dare not to kill yourself. I won’t either.
Let prose be hard, let it provoke unease.
But the poem is an echo that is heard when life is mute:
shadows gliding on mountains; the image of wind and cloud,
the passage of smoke or life: bright, dusky, bright,
a river flowing silent, deep cloudy forests,
houses mouldering slowly, lanes radiating heat,
a worn-down threshold, the stillness of shadow,
a child’s timorous step into the darkness of the room,
a letter that comes from afar and is pushed under the door,
so big and white that it fills the house,
or a day so stiff and bright that you can hear
how the sun nails shut the abandoned blue door.
I’m not feeling strong yet, but I am taking
good care of myself. The weather is perfect.
I read and walk all day and then walk to the sea.
I expect to swim soon. For now I am content.
I am not sure what I hope for. I feel I am
doing my best. It reminds me of when I was
sixteen dreaming of Lorca, the gentle trees outside
and the creek. Perhaps poetry replaces something
in me that others receive more naturally.
Perhaps my happiness proves a weakness in my life.
Even my failures in poetry please me.
Time is very different here. It is very good
to be away from public ambition.
I sweep and wash, cook and shop.
Sometimes I go into town in the evening
and have pastry with custard. Sometimes I sit
at a table by the harbor and drink half a beer.
Warhol was right: he said athletes are fat
in the right places
and they’re young
in the right places. Apparently
the next Godzilla movie has Godzilla
just stomping around eating everyone’s
money and it’s the scariest thing ever-
we can rub bug powder on the national
anthem and run that over the closing credits
as long as the singer manages to sing
I’m in love with everyone but you, almost
convincingly. A production team undoing
one another’s pants
is How We Get Naked Now but tomorrow
morning all the cut-off parts of us are coming
back so get ready. Europe: you swear it exists
because you once had sex in it, and ideas.
Prepositions: that’s where we all get sucked
under. Prepositions: the San Andreas
fault of meaning. Prepositions:
what came dislodged when our parents
hired operatives to kidnap us from cults
and deprogram us in the backs of vans.
Warhol was talking about the ass,
right, which we have come to understand
is the vessel of histories. That effect.
We put everything through
a translation engine
because we wanted to see the world.