jck hnry

first time

i answered his want ad
posted in a secret yahoo chatroom,
last century, before the war,
and soon found myself seeking passage
across his threshold.

he lived in a normal neighborhood,
with normal people walking by,
and driving normal cars, and
living normal lives.
there at the curb i found
myself incompatible and

hands trembled as i knocked
at his door, but
within moments i removed
my tether and fell into his skin.

i asked for his permission,
there on the old carpet,
and he said yes to anything.

my path changed in moment
and i remembered how to breathe.
perception fell from my reality
and i discovered someone
i never allowed to say hello.  


i took a poetry class in college,
back when i didn’t really care.
an associate arts degree felt impossible
but i needed an easy class to fit my schedule.

first day, back row; high and bored,
i watch a teacher scribble out a list of poets; poets
from whom we should read; from whom we
should learn, mimic, orally copulate;
copy in style and in form.

every day we write terrible poems.
every day we recite terrible poems.
every day we read terrible poems by dead people.
every day we struggle to stay awake in the back row.

we do not read proust, or baudelaire, or ginsberg.
we read nothing. great fat empty lines fill with air and lint.
we sat in circles, jerk off to dead voices
of the vain inglorious. we waste hours
in search of the single great line and find
nothing but the flaccid echoes of Hallmark
Cards International.

and i quit poetry.  threw it with the spend condoms
and glassine bags.  burned the books, left behind
the damning words of the dead.

and when i finally achieve an elusive AA
i gain entrance to university, make it past sophomore
standing. finally find the part of my brain that rapes knowledge.

it is not until i sit under the fluorescents of Russian History
and discover mayakovsky, goncharova, and malevich, and discover my fist
and my soul and words fat and heavy.
despite my past, i have no past, the future is all the exists, and i am deep within it,
bent over and fucked into life, i am deep within it.

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