fever dream

I am at a conference with a poet I admire. In my dream. In my dream, I am at a conference with this poet. He isn’t the keynote speaker, or even a presenter. He just sits next to me (as though perhaps we came here together), listening to the presentation. But his focus is distracted. While his eyes are on the presenter, his mind is on my screen.

“You should close that,”             says, pointing. “It’s too bright.”

It is indeed too bright. The conference room is lit in some shade of grey – the color of the air in bars when one was still able to smoke in bars. My laptop stands on the table in front of us, wide open and, for some reason, defying logic, on a plain white screen, blazing. I try to laugh nonchalantly, like it’s no big deal that I’m annoying a poet I admire: one of those poets who make me want to write, who make me want to say, “I can sleep later; I have to write now.” Of course, I’m annoying him. I reach up and close the laptop and wonder why I’ve brought a laptop when I draft with pen and paper, in hardcover blue books my Aunt Becky had given me. Why had I even brought a laptop?

My stomach rumbles low. I put my hand to my belly and am startled by its size – bulging up and out in an unfamiliar way. When had I let this happen? I press my hand to my newly protruding gut and am fascinated. I stare at this perfectly smooth half oval. This is a Belly.

“You want coffee,”             says. (In my dream). “I could go for coffee.”

I nod. I can’t find words.

“I should call            , see if she wants to get some coffee. I could really go for some coffee. I know it’s late, but coffee right now would be great.”

And I would agree, having coffee with two of my current-favorite poets would indeed be great, beyond great, really, and how did I even get here in the first place?

Which is the question that echoes in my head as I wake up coughing hard enough to nearly throw up. Coughing and coughing and coughing. I stumble to the bathroom and stand at the sink. I lean forward and try to focus on the drain. Drool trails onto white porcelain. I count the whisker hairs near the faucet. I’m not going to throw up. I stare at myself in the mirror and tell myself that I’m not going to throw up. I’m not.

Tonight, I’m keeping it all down.

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Dreamy Tonsils

isolated, aimless,         layed near alien smilers
normal     amends made   noises sold
my roadless toenails tread dream salt
antlers leary, lids onsite

anytime     lends old   rails to lone stares
anymore     loads stale tendrils    on disaster tides

i mislearn elation as sated moans
i misread sanity as a modest tramline
a sermon in entrails and snarled talons
mistold in idle, silent yodels

— a ‘beau présent’ (beautiful in-law) – created using only the letters found in a person’s name. for this one, i used a name that is an anagram of the poem’s title.
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What is Poetry?

Last week, I tasked my middle school students with some exquisite corpse poetry (where students build their poem together, one line at a time (while only able to see the prior line)). One student started a piece with just the word “poetry” – and I think this pretty much sums up my relationship with poetry and writing and setting and committing to a routine and all sorts of et cetera:

Poetry
I don’t know
But I do care quite a lot
It was my favorite show
until last week
because last week I stabbed my toe
and my toe still hurts now
why can’t I skip school
Stop being such a baby
or else I’ll spank you
very hard
like a rock.

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Reason #10: America

the hate you
proudly own
is a guarantee
you invented,
fortified in stone
for 
average people and their life.

as 
deniers  y/ou
don’t need to puzzle for answers
simply 
deny?

an AR-15 is a 
classic example of America except all the things that
make us free and brave.

— all words sampled from “10 Reasons To Own An AR-15.” on the NRA’s website “America’s 1st Freedom,” published 1 July 2016, but found on their home page on 16 February 2018, and which, in today’s entry said this of an AR-15 – “it’s the musket of today.” personally, i’m glad to have no further use for the NRA’s website. thanks for reading…
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Reason #9: Shooting

Shooting - the fastest growing reason why the 'cool factor' of men with zero experience might harbor some fear of a quick soft-recoil, just the way they want it.

— all words sampled from “10 Reasons To Own An AR-15.” on the NRA’s website “America’s 1st Freedom,” published 1 July 2016, but found on their home page on 16 February 2018.
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Reason #8: Disaster

Disaster - I'm an impending doomsday a critical sometimes think I don't see any survival I might just be perfect.

— all words sampled from “10 Reasons To Own An AR-15.” on the NRA’s website “America’s 1st Freedom,” published 1 July 2016, but found on their home page on 16 February 2018. The unerased reason 8 suggests having maybe two AR-15s for “disasters.”

 

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Reason #7: Facts

pet hundreds of people in the fastest growing shoot right now

— all words sampled from “10 Reasons To Own An AR-15.” on the NRA’s website “America’s 1st Freedom,” published 1 July 2016, but found on their home page on 16 February 2018.
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