I’ve written imitations, thought long and deeply
over models, delving into wordscape mysteries,
seeking keys to animate swirls of alternative lives
entombed in the pulp of dead trees, signatures
of once bright insight, a ghastly, ghostly business.
They do not consent to my friendship, and I,
in return, give nothing. I am but a host
these few years on earth. The author’s spirit
in me lives locked up. Can you imagine that?
Erased by this prison illusion, I wander
from task to task, head in a box, a shell-self,
a flat surface in forced three-dimension,
I long to be laid down, reduced, or filled,
to fall on my knees, to plead the return
of the lost benevolence I powerfully suspect
exists, and once saw, I think, but can’t remember.
The senses shrivel up. Leave us be, they cry.
Cups of skin creep over eyes, nose, ears, mouth.
This loathing without recourse is tasteless
love excess, turned sour, inward, sewn up.
Painstaking duty tracery calms the bursting forth,
which is crying, a boxed cat shaking, crazed
by the cramp of no care but kind words.
No, this dampened life-will is no irrational spate,
it is crystal sanity trapped in sad okays,
in especial safety before and after,
in knowing knowledge the soul’s sole sustenance
and knowing all knowledge must be undone.
Copyright © Jennifer Moxley
Used with the permission of Flood Editions.