[silken] [with an ATM in It and a Fetish]
I’m a ticking time bomb overheard on the street
the way exploitation opens up in me you’d think I was a field of poppies dispensing lifestyle heroin at cut rates (never mind my nearly 0%)—which is just another way of saying waking each morning is problematic and so I add toil to toil—patching a one third silk shirt made in China—feminizing self maybe— boy brain so ingrained with father nurture it is my nature now—I have to dig with needle and thread to get it out (the woman in the house— my wife— is busy—the fabric I’m using is silk)— there is a fetish in there somewhere—and diminishment—am I channeling my own mother now— that post-war gift-horse life she barely made it through cutting open cans of soup with bare hands and boiling noodles until I was perfectly starved— how they unleashed campaigns summers to fatten me up as if I were a piece of Europe to be taken and capitalized with love, American muscle. Boy child doing best Alpha dog walk. And so it was given, the path silken. Time-bomb brain in time-bomb body. Like that man at the library today—his twisted grievance spit at a dog or at me walking by— I couldn’t tell—it was a damn fine day— sun with a little English on it curving toward noon—earth in maintenance— perpetual— low— couples somewhere screwing themselves toward regret again— all that weird tangled power coaxed from pleasure and money and fear of dying—earth dying right before our eyes—beautiful human body as magnet for harm— for doing harm—when all I wanted was to save a shirt I loved and not be called a pussy yet again
[cage] [piece] [with Wile E. Coyote in It and a River]
[here’s another bracket of time in which the spiritual might occur—a reverse ecstasy—since I’m letting river frame the picture now // me—a skin and bone shimmy shuffling that stop-time human ecstasy I see in poems all the time // river the chords but they’re gone // river oblivious // blink and the page of it refreshes // or it’s me that is disappearing—a counter-flux—the river that was looking muttering Heraclitus downriver to some turtles basking on the stones // or maybe the river is simply constant gaze—one long bleeding string of vision—horizontal to the light I reflect—like the common house fly—part and part and part of me burning like cathedral glass—while that other I just wobbles on the riverbank like a cartoon coyote bonked on the head—the acme—yep you heard that right—of me bathed in sunlight—blue river running slow and lazy—embodied—sharing this brain // —O river are you ever truly lonesome you sound so country western some days I have to ask before this song cycle fades and dopplers down an abyss of track rebooting time I think—the sound of your leaving forever in my ear as I walk away]
[Poem in which I Consider the 38% of My DNA I Share with a Goose]
so this goose just hissed my way one of those don’t tread on me gun range kind of warnings and so I thought WhatTheFuck!—it’s the park!— I’m just walking—you can shit where you want— munch grass—I don’t care anymore—I don’t have kids— I try to keep the fecal count low where I live—but it hissed again and so I went all Kyrie—flipped the bird a bird—is this animal husbandry? Did I have dominion? I imagine eating them sometimes but then it’s faux graux again—the poor creatures force- fed so their livers are buttery—the process gavage (I’ll let you make the rhyme)— the taste a delicacy—but how much stress I don’t know—I’ll have to ask Temple Grandin for that— for what I ingest or breathe in other- wise I’ll do that math—so many nightmares now I know I am alive—now one maybe with a goose in it—or maybe the goose is ex- periencing night terror—they possess brains as we do—exhibit REM sleep— I am the one who haunts—there may be eggs already in wrecked grass just greening along the river— all those coils of likeness making bird parts in the yolk that need protecting—suns out of which bird-me rises—brain-me thinking is it possible in this doomed world to love a thing too much
DENNIS HINRICHSEN‘s most recent work is schema geometrica, winner of the Wishing Jewel Prize from Green Linden Press. His tenth collection, Flesh-plastique, will appear in 2023, also from Green Linden. He has new poems in The Cincinnati Review, Dunes Review, On the Seawall, and RHINO, and forthcoming in Ninth Letter, Posit and Witness.
Artwork by David Dodd Lee.
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