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mnemosyne.


With a memory tamed by these years now I can offer to myself the chance
To get it all down---dignified---risking my soul’s bleakness in the light: via some lichen-gray manner of attempted language: an attempt: to sing with a persuasive tongue-
-For the first time: and if it was romance---then I---was young:
And if it stung: before, I’d likely like the more to shift my sheer footing---felt---on that there ground as dignity---and, harrowing as an orator, lawyer, dance

Around the issue in the words: with words, issued thus: without bothering to, reeling, introduce-
-My own sour leaves of a torment unremarkable though state
In living blood, in blood seated to a boil: drenched with hate---
Dormant, for so long: entrenched, in me: and as to who that was: what lies destroyed now at those feet, I did and readily produce:

And they were things of love, the love once had for one not much to me
Besides it all: she who flowered budding in that novice soul
A tender for its frantic muscle beating out its toll
Of pride, incorruptible, and held to hustle free

In her soft hands: but where to start, what is it there in her that
Mocks me still, in being so alluring: to no point: aporia:
That is what rings true in this distant heart: this story’s a
Wound fattest at the middle-mind of art: faithless rat,

Thief, grumbling his sorrows to the girl now out of life, his life,
And I no better for it: well, we met in February:
I had just gotten kicked out of school: and, sanctuary,
An alien concept: my demons: a rattled skeleton: cruelty: strife

Had been my mistress, acute in its exercising torments sordid and
Mysterious: I had no sympathy for myself: rarely courted
By some blithe female-other, if at all: I thought myself worthless: forded-
-No byways: scoffed at functionality: I confess my hand

Shakes as I write, and if I did not feel it then I sure do now:
That is, I feel---the welter of such a thing---to coast,
Dull---beating out in rhythms, inconsistent yet verbose---
To coast a spark: from out the socket: in some visitant kerpow!:

Like all things excitable: perhaps I am not one for love:
And if I were, why does it always happen . . .
Happen that things go wrong in every single way: no satin-
-For these sheets, no roses on them, none to stay: but, above,

Beyond my so-long-stunted condition: what is there: to reflect on how it went: yeah: perhaps,,,
Perhaps those things---beyond---need voices too: and if I were
To explain the bare-bones of it---of I the heartless cur---
Well then, I’d always thought, why spit a lapse

Into being: catatonia: why make such a thing alive, electrical:
Why, besides to bring hurt, a hurt as this, back again:
I told her I wished her to remain as she had called me partner---friend: endless friend:
While she repeated that I did not love her: piece this spectacle

Of a perdition together, slowly, if you will: road, ruinous: could
I live it out, this WORLD, could I live this
WORLD out to the end without her answering rough kiss,
Without her whispering stuff to me: as I sleep: should

I answer back to her that I always will: will always as some bleeding idol---sacrosanct---hold
All that she was to me then close: but there is some like
Disdain: causing conflict, in me: and which will spike
A nerve to turn the flicked switch on, to illuminate the bold

Feeling: in and of this haunted room: this psychic box that I am in: awhile, housing terrible the sentiments
More darksome, till the light is shed: best not to dwell on those events: however-
-My mind wants me to go there, do that, flick the switch, out of panic more than ever:
Wants me to sift through these rough relics for a precedent

Remembrance: of that time which will in turn shift all
My psyche: but, this cannot happen: for, dysfunction
Is of many pathways---and---is from a source, a core, a plan: yet again: coward-corruption-
-That does not exist, even if I were to go way back to that pivotal !@#$ hour: that !@#$ shenanigan: yes: impossible gall:

That was the hour, come to a head: that afternoon, the one to shape my goddamned double-character:
And from that misshapen point forth: I like some crazy seraphim-
-Hopped up on blow set myself dirigible beyond the rim
Of a window, nearly three stories: incorrigible: foul paramour, foul comedy, fair actor:

And a surgeon of the self I verily hid: with little progress nor a surmounting to success-
-In either: fair actor, beautiful myth, you: you voice:
To the bone of a word: speak your dumb, intrinsic, choice:
Intrinsic at the time at least: joking, yet not coy: airs from out an idle throat, blessed-

-With a conviction to your, my sabotage: yeah, to nearly die and make of you, me, a jabberer: fool,
Ungrateful for the rights of life: the many voices of a literate
Delirium: spent ways: to nearly die and so then murder all thems nifty gifts, ideas: the passionate
Qualms I had for space and time: perjured, yes, by doubt, the quartered rule

Of doubt over this my, his, the fool’s rendering of himself
As swerving between epiphany and collapse: but if-
-A chart of his collapse---a nimble though inordinate, stiff,
Meter-making-argument---is called for might a mumble taken timid off the shelf,

Might I the fool take a muttered meaning subtly off the shelf and leave a void a nullity a vacancy
There: place there instead a good, good thought: and to remain
So: or will this all string out into disorder: and arraign
No honest composite, yes, of contorted wires, electric voices in a darker style: some sort of risky symphony:

And rather, be the socket fried by her, the atom of her laughter all, now, that’s left-
-To keep her memory cradled in my soft hands: !@#$’s still to be talked about: reconciled:
Again to say it, there’re things recalled but not affirmed: like an amateur, a child . . .
Like as a child I sent a letter to the girl: after we broke it off: wormed-out lies, mostly: dumb: bereft

Of catharsis: and of a closure I know not: I could not say how
Much this human meant to me, can guess there is indeed
Some inmost part not ever to reveal itself: despite---does not--- does not ever need to, does not heed-
-The psychic fatalities endured enough to prove a lack of reconcilement an eternity to wait for: oh my: oh wowy wow:

I’m fucked up: remember sitting on the ground, drinking, writing about imperfections: nonsense:
Poetry, elliptical, mendacious and most of the time a waste
Of ink and energy: yet most of what I write’s in good taste,
However incendiary I try to be: smoking blunts in the hood: good weed: subtle, but intense:

Stealing meds: groping through the cabinet of a dying man: gaining
Weight, and losing friends: freaking out acquaintances with
A telling of my many exploits on the ward: obsessed with numbness and the pith-
-Of pits, of being in a pit: never courteous to guests: staining

A nice shirt with wine in an overfed glass: cigarette graveyards: turning blue:
Burns on my arm, on my mattress, on the soiled rug: of course,
The bum I was is still in me and will be, forever---but---the measures taken to acquaint myself with the simple chores
Of daily life, they are like as therapy: in achieving normalcy: I feel ‘em sap me of the motive for that madness once treasured: with honest amativeness, love, though I was tethered, malnourished, ultimately: stew,

Stew in your own radioactive funk, find it actually poisonous: people seem
To possess themselves well, better than I feel I can: but,
Each one of us is as powerful crazy as that fair actor, surgeon: make the cut-
-And find you were and are the one who holds the knife: that as you cut, burgeons forth the beam

Of a lighted judgment: and yet who am I speaking to: to her: the girl,
The one most well-possessed, without an issue: and yet not so complacent:
Perhaps she’ll whisper and I’ll whisper back this tune: nascent
Love: the beauty and the wonder of a life in a croon, waiting to unfurl:

. . . . . . . .

Waken from this dream: wake up naked, your mother embarrassed
At my naked self: when she opens the door to witness the bedsheets on the floor: from my kicking them in slumber: hot-to-trot:
I remember this: I remember walking in KINGSTON with you, smoking pot---:
How we stumbled onto houses long abandoned, joking: the dead, cement slab of a lot’s crumbling: crevasse:

Feeding the beast: she was a virtual pharmacy, and I took
Advantage of that: woke up early to steal her ADDERALL:
She slept in, usually: what a stupid thing: matter falls
From out my brain in a mess: I wanted her to bring it: I look

For it in her purse while she’s in the bathroom: she gets
Used to me asking for pills, thinks I only love her for-
-The pills: she called me while I was in the hospital: you’ll get what’s in store, be ready for
It, I told myself: she was furious at me: the obstacles of her existence: told me since we met

That I had been a ruin: a weird time in my life, I said: she said
That didn’t mean a thing, and I should stop saying sorry:
It loses meaning: I had just wanted to go to the grad-party
And see old friends from boarding school: sad, I was nearly dead:

Before that day was through: we met in February: it was snowing:
We embraced in the elevator, kissed ourselves through the door:
I read her my work on the couch, each in the other’s form,
Understanding: in this melding, seeming meddling: crouched in a veritableness: knowing

However, that---in that moment---we were both of a body electric, dosed
With heated ecstasy, nearly painless: till she left:
Beforehand I had told her chattering that yeah the deft
Wind blowing was too much, the snow was old, the frost hurt the tip of my nose: we arose

From a tunnel where the both of us had lain in the powder to embrace:
Later on in the relationship she would ask me if that was
Magical: I said it wasn’t, but it had been: because
I was too much a skeptic of my own feelings: a sin: what a waste:

Let’s go look at zebras in the museum on the other side of the park, I entreaty:
That was my first date: so long ago, makes me feel old:
And yet I am still too young to be but dross chipping off in the corrosive cold . . .
Chipping paint, toys of some bizarre playhouse: unmanned, lost: with dark, small, lifeless, beady-

-Eyes: on the other hand, her eyes were brown and deep: I remember clutching her soft, accepting hand
And looking at her in this restaurant: it was this joint or more like a café called FRENCH ROAST,
A block away from my parents’ apartment in NYC: we split the tip: I felt liable, indeed, to boast-
-The still-imploring flame of that relationship: I was still getting the lay of the land,

But it was new, new, yes, and exciting: when we got to the museum
We realized it was the MET, not, as we thought,
The MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, and were caught
In line, people-watching: fatuous mystery: clues, see ‘em:

We looked at the paintings, sat outside on the wide stone stairs
Afterwards: I was kind of cold and started to shiver:
She took her arms around me and I stopped: just a sliver
Of affection: still, my WORLD dropped: somebody cares:

At least, someone did: did care: my parents had been fighting
A lot, and I was in the middle of it, having gotten
Kicked out of school, as I said, and sent back home: really, of how volatile living in that apartment had been I had forgotten:
I spent most of my time, before we met, just feeling: writing

Down my thoughts: for fun, but also because I believed
I had a thing or two to say: now not sure if I’ve got
Even one thing, at this point: one thing to prevent the rot-
-Of this brain: the death of me: as long as I can sing as I have, nay, as long as I have breathed

I have not lived in vain: have not dropped out of the race:
Perhaps, the other needs a walloping: needs to be bullied:
Perhaps the other was her, is her, and her image, sullied
By examination, now seems to me an utterance of the lineage of all grand, whopping space

And time: the first three months were !@#$ heartbreakingly divine:
The happiest times of my life: hard to let her know-
-That, though: could not: a foreign feeling of inspiration was, yes, close at hand, and the flow
Of the WORLD near-electric: and grand, so grand as to align

The planets: I remember saying how easy it was to visit her:
I took the METRO NORTH to POUGHKEEPSIE and she’d pick
Me up after work: she was a waitress: her boss, a prick-
-Who was always hitting on her: it was a toss up: spur

Of the moment sometimes, sometimes we’d plan !@#$ out in advance
And go for drives in her car: a compartment under the radio
Filled with butts: her hair reminded me of beautiful, slick crow-
feathers: holding her was like holding a little bird: eyes all worried and sick with askance-

-You’d say to me: don’t talk about my boyfriend like that: whenever
I badmouthed myself: I guess I thought I was being, in a self-
degrading way, a young man of more interest to her: how I would delve, articulately!, delve-
-Into attractive pessimism: particularly the !@#$ about hiding from my mom---under a table---!@#$ clever,

DAN: I said I still remembered seeing the string from her stockings
Hanging, as she was looking for me: and I naught but a child,
Five years old, I said: a pack of lies, all of it: sort of: mild,
The actual experience is, compared to how we are affected by it: short of hawking

Shitty emotional wares---pulling the ‘damaged’ card---the soft spot for to defend oneself---embittered argument---
I don’t see myself being more manipulative towards anyone else:
More manipulative than I was to her: love in its weird spells
Grows wary in a wary mind of some feared alteration after altercation, some negative tourniquet:

And makes to spoil the whole damn thing, before it can blossom
Properly: this’s, I guess, a give-and-take sort of deal
In that the pattern’s between two axes: helps me heal:
For I reckon I am split in two: it helps to know how to seize in language my own, masochistic delight: awesome

Duality, funny wavering: there’s two narratives, two wires
Snapping in their channels without shorting, yet: I bet
You’d understand, for you inspired it: this sorted set:
This theory of a conflict, spinning in chaotic, sordid spires

Of ramification: what’s there to lose to write: just write it down:
But there’s a line I crossed: I remember: the commerce
Of our tongues, wiling in heat on that humid day: we nursed
A popsicle---corny enough---together: coquettish: tumid’s the memory in my mind: moving bits from mouth

To mouth: I could never show you this, you’d have too little
To say about it, really: perhaps this is the letter
I was supposed to send you: I don’t want it to be dumb, it better
Not be dumb, this time around: if so, I’ll suck my thumb and maybe fiddle-

-My finger up my nose, pick out a winner: I can’t hold it all,
Can’t begin to begin: begin to know which narrative
Follows which: which anticipating, which receding, which to give
More elaborate ideas to: and of course, before the season, fall,

It was done: you found out I snatched your meds: personal, this-
-Is a personal poem: this is going to be a personal poem,
I’ve decided: damned if I’m not writing honestly: open,
Of course, to feedback: compliments I cannot implement: fallacy: oops: well, with my left fist

In my mouth I’ll start from the aporia: the clouded mind’s more
A muse than what I could write with one ghost of a thought up in my narrow noodle:
Mirage: every thought’s a flaw: thought is a flaw, futile,
Incorrect---a translation: it is an awe of what I can’t get and is then sore

With wanting, needing: not getting, not having: zero pleasure
In my life, since then: wow, that’s !@#$ depressing:
Well, put it in: keep in all this: scattered . . . like lightning: this letter’s more and more an oath: as it quickens:
And, regarding the point it makes, somewhat, about love: well, here’s the lesson: it’s both her, I’m very sure---am deadly sure---

Both her and me I’m chasing, and chasing away: that’s the story
Of my life I tell myself and thus the WORLD: perhaps mishaps
Will always befall me, and perhaps passion’s electric as it snaps
Will finally short out: at least for now I’ve come across one thing: a dismal, crucial action’s core: see,

The clues deny what it is of power they own and want what they don’t: I’ll drink
My tears, and hers, and call both anguish, equal-
-In intensity: the tenacity of this poem has no sequel:
No palinode to harbor: the narrative gets darker---in the loam---as I think myself alive, drift towards the brink,

And fall: crucial decision: I remember seeing my feet in the air
As I fell: remember how loud that !@#$ evac-helicopter
Was: it was graduation day for the school I used to attend: the pain and slightest rapture
Of seeing friends who had hazed me to the point of, by the end, laying bear

My veins: I bled on my shirt, once: that’s how they found out, then-
-They stopped it all: hazing, bullying, whatnot: I don’t blame anyone but myself: let’s make-
-That clear: stupidest thing I’ve ever done: take
This thunderous word, suicide, no fun---and know that I have taken, wagging, a certain drastic spin

On the lightning-bolts of its proverb: meaning: have seen despite the other side, the relieving side
Of such a horribleness, thus know it horrible: rumors about me throughout that school, more than anything shook-
-Me to the bone: I felt naked, and the energy booked
For the center of my mind like an itch: a malady: when I hit the ground a great, elaborate sigh

Escaped from my lungs, and then I cried out in agony: busted my back:
I said: wasn’t high enough: the medics saw my arm and said: this
Kid’s got problems: I had gone off into the woods to do the deed: something in the WORLD was dead: amiss:
That morning her mother had called her a basket-case: I seem to recall that she, retaliating, keyed her mom’s car after the attack:

Or maybe I just wish she had: memory is bias, solely bias:
This is all subjective, nothing more than one view
Of the subject: of this beauty: crow-feather girl: could the clue
That tortures itself into existence pound upon the dais

And call himself a man of reason, a man with some conviction
To his name: it’s all absurd: life is absurd: she is, indeed,
In this rendering, not more real than if she landed in the words that feed-
-My infant sorrow as a visitor: now mature and yet still branded delicate: schisms:

. . . . . . . .

Here is my soul, this is where it lieth: schisms lift
Me up, tell me: across the wide WORLD round there might
Be things that, divisive, divide more in the fight
To wreak it all whole: why not as a mark of assiduousness sift

Through the rest of what you said, before, DAN: tell the other other, bickering---continuity---off:
Give her, me, the both of us---naught---but voids to wheedle through: deconstruct-
-This text to nonsense, you will see her face for just one moment: then will, agape, see that mug destruct: lucked
Out, I did: always told myself, later on, after the failures to win her back, that hope is my enemy: I like a knee-jerk ape now scoff

At all the waiting for her to come back: all that wasted time: how benign: how benign, how trivial:
The only time I rubbed the nape of her neck---!@#$---was while she was driving:
She sent me an email once that listed the things she loved about me: outright fifing-
-Through the village: to get all the goddamned rats out---I guess---however that !@#$ parable goes: hail, mystical

One, though between us there is a whole person, still: recognize
That, maybe you do: I often wonder where in the somewhere
You are: talked of living in BELIZE, HAWAII---heck---taking care
To not tell me too much: I said I wanted to visit: bet that gave the hairs on that neck---your neck a rise:

Bet there was something in you didn’t want to see me: cloistered
In some prescience of THANATOS: EROS gone: among
The things she listed---apologizing for a phoned-in attitude as to whatever description of my attributes she stated before---were as I read them after the disaster enough for me to cough up a lung . . .
Oh, the smoke blown: I thought: the both of us doubtful, pitying ourselves and our compliments: rough, uppity, boisterous, were-

-Without parallel regarding loving banter: quick with response:
That quickness would transmute: after awhile: to a loveless
Cancer: an erosion: codependence, arguments: the stuff less
Charming about the both of us---mostly, me: this still, like some lone pendant---memento mori---haunts

Me: I remember, the girl: you put little bits of paper with sweet
Stuff in my pockets---like, I love you, or, You’re a dream, or, We’re made for each other:
You always talked about how crazy she was, your mother:
And now I seem to recall when you thought in the heat

Of the moment that I’d hit you: so: you barricaded yourself in the bathroom-
-And cut your thigh with a razor: So many times, including this, that last: though we were, are doomed: that last,
That last in my mind: we embraced, electric-hateful, and cried: I told you, I would not ever do that: oh, the past:
It !@#$ sucks: from the moment you smiled at me on that snowy day---no matter what---we had to have been doomed:

You referred, in your letters to me, to an idea of the relationship between us making you sad:
I remember little anymore: I am my past: I resign:
But maybe there’s not much in it to examine: no, I’m fine:
I’ll be alright: fatuous, fatuous mystery: it wasn’t that good: then again---to belabor the electric-repetition that she was, is to me---this appropriation of duality I’m plagued with---was not bad, not bad, not satin-covered and yet it was not bad: and so the muse, she dies, I am rid of her: am rid of her, not her: the muse, not her: not bad:
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