Friday, August 12, 2005

Zen Pogrom

There seems to be a polyp
Up there--Doctor said, shoving
His big negro fingers in my face.
I don't like to use terms like "infect" or "colonize"--
It sounds so anthropomorphic.
Like God.
But there's definitely something there.
I can feel it, I think, when I'm about to doze off.
Infecting me, colonizing the space between the cords of phlegm
Hanging like empty nooses at the back of my throat--
And the stem of my brain.
I try to picture death every day.
It's a good enough exercise, not wise, but "quite good enough."
Like Sensei used to say.
Like reading the dictionary for traces of narrative and specters of plot.
I look for death in the really small spaces:
The dead mouse delivered early to my doorstep yesterday morning--
The one with the missing face.
Just seeing death makes it more palpable, more palatable
It's some strange synesthesia: the tasting of color, the smelling of sweet;
Or perhaps insomnia has turned me Christian and back again!
I fed Mama Cat another midnight snack. This clock has too many midnights!
She likes the can with the silvery gray skin of the fish left whole,
But I end up chopping up the chunks.
Death is too gift-wrapped these days.
I want to open it quickly like removing a Band-Aid and dispense with the formal.
Miss Manners caught me picking my nose while I waited for you.
She laughed and told me a dirty joke.
Like your dad, who's stuffed in a box--a really small place!
Where death lurks like a Hiroshima bomb.

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