but aren't they all random?



A Pocketful of Poesy was a Poem-a-Day(-on-Average) Blog* up until the great derail of 2013. The impossibly-high standard of quality proved impractical to keep up, without a book deal. But don't take my word for it: click RANDOM and judge for yourself! And feel free to offer your critique.
*based on poem rate for calendar years 2009-2012. Also, kidding about the book deal.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

high camp.


I always leave her disappointed, the loser
of another embarrassing bet, one suspects
these addictions of hers begin innocently
feeding on each other, just enough,
innocently enough, each in its own
selfish interest. But is this
even one of the steps for that? For she told
me, this: she was a girl guide in a previous life.

I said

"Woman, I

get thee to a too, too fine
degree too! Far too fine to distinguish
between the two, which:

are you the one?

The none? If so, go get thee
one, stat. Am I right? Because if I'm not,
I'd like another chance. Will you tell me,
if I lucky guess?

Are you binary? Boolean?
Because I used to know,
you know. But now,
I have to admit,
I'm pretty curious.
By nature, I mean:
peculiar, and I have
to admit I have
to ask: do you stick
at this? Do you put it
aside, or do you stick
at nothing - or switch
to a negative?

And what, anyway
were you looking for
So hard, when you looked at me.
Into my eyes, and lost
what you lost -

which we need not say now.
It has been enough to be
elaborated upon,
each upon each,
needlessly lost
in all the consequence,
lost in all the bets, lost

in yet another staring contest.
Which, I begin to suspect,
was fixed. I'm beginning to suspect
she fixes these bets, myself.

See, let me tell you. My life
has a sort of a story to it.
And as it happens,
it began to be so earnest, so right
about the time. When was that? What time
was it, girl? I remember. I was the cub
who never made it to eagle
point lake for the initiation, too busy
ducking my presumed duties, I guess,
avoiding the altar, assiduously
preaching to the choir - or one of them,
and praying more than preaching really.
All while the priest's back is turned, you know.
Boys will be boys, won't we? We will be damned,
most of us, if we don't. Or do

you still claim I wouldn't do it,
all over again, even
a little bit
differently? I would not
trade places,
not even if you asked
nicely.

It wasn't only because they didn't
have altar girls in those days - but choir?
You'd be amazed. The harmonies, my heart
broke before my voice, that of an angel
confessing to the love of my then-young life
that no,

I wasn't the one who had carved, fortuitously
or not, our initials, suspiciously
at the perfect center
of a large,

love heart.

deep, in the white-washed plywood obscured,
by the high weeds.

In a vacant lot, ostensibly.
Nearby, it would prove to be impossible
to find. For the rest of my life, I would realize
I had naively presumed so much,
so flush in the knowledge that after so bold a dumb
move, I was fully prepared to be wrong! So flush,

So busted.

And so I went fishing, eventually,
you and me. I mean she and I, technically,

because by then I assure you we'd each got
our respective persons,
straight,
with no chase. And me without bait,
let me without bait be the one
casting the first hook, wait
- it was before that, getting ready,
she
looked

between me and
you,

to compare the two.

She found me wanting, as usual.
But as she compared, I realized that we -
rivals, in some misunderstood sense, were two
of the same kind, weren't we?
Brothers? Closer than that even?
Don't you think? That's a mirror

she's looking at and troubled a bit by.
What she sees deep within, or
what seems to be the problem, off
the top of your head? Can you touch
the tip of your nose?

Could I?

These are the questions, by which
we would live. Or else we die,
both in suspense, he, she,
and I: redundant, as such: not I.
Emphatic. I refuse not to subjectify
myself. Certainly not in the same sense
or sentence in which I'd already referred,
to me, myself, as a third person. And
really now. Why would I? What was in it,
for me, even then? I barely knew.

I couldn't even say the stupidest
things such as where was I? Wherever
I was, we,
in suspense,
in a manner of life
and death, in a matter both living
and dead, and holding
our collective breath, as
our collective soul shakes
its collective

(imaginary, not as far as she
could see)

head.

But she must have guessed.
Because I haven't seen the last of her,
since.

And she found me wanting, as I said.
She almost always did. It used to bother me
quite a hell
of a lot to go through
all that sweat and toil
- even in winter, she "made India
too hot to hold her," as the saying
so innocently goes. And it was
too hot, which was less than half
the bother by the time spring came,
prematurely that year, I got so hot
trying to figure out what the hell
she wanted! And whether or not it was
morally permissible,
for her,
a pretty,
staunch pescetarian,
to claim she cannot
gut a fish,
I ask you.

Can you blame me if
I had more pressing things on my mind
than I did where I'd have preferred them?

That's what we called it, in those days,
a halcyon, which if you look it up means
nothing we could see. In those days,
as the saying went on and on,
we were not far from blind
In love,

were we?

And t'accuse! What nerve, what gaul
had you even looked up whether
that was an accurate thing to do? Thundering

Who!?

Is the more lewd? She the one
(or he who) is openly,
shamelessly lewd,
or the dude (or dude-ess) whose like,
likes,
and maybe, even
loves,

Run a little to the lewd side, is that
alright with you? Except all
the while, he or she takes
such ambiguous, punctilious care
never to let it show. Not unless
or until he's left,
or she's left him,
alone.

And so it was my fault? Was it
hers? Who led who? On
whose head,
never mind.
You get it.

You get what I'm driving at, or rather,
given my druthers, trying
experiences would have built us up,
not rent us asunder, like that damn
tent you got off Craig's damn list
of his. And yet, you have to admit

Even in the grip
of all that effort,
to appear,
to seem
seemly, in the tick of a
second this seeming hypocrite
will spot the next likely
prominent lewd leader-on,
and follow on from there,
and on,
ostensibly.
Where does it stop?
Where do you call a halt? Stop
being
"mis-led"
by the (INNOCENT
I TELL YOU!
THE ENTIRELY UNINTENDED I,
I ASSURE YOU is right now
sleeping alone

in that very same tent!
By my very sane lone
self, or so I hope.
Even in my wildest dreams I haven't hallucinated
anyone else but you,
not in years.

We need to bring this story of ours, regardless
- whether one of us is telling or one of us is
listening, or even if that's a completely accurate
count. We need to come close

to where we can bring it to a close. You used to be one hell
of a closer, didn't you? Well we're playing hard
ball now, miss oh so wicked pitcher.

Oh god - speaking of close quarters, do you remember?
That fucking tent!

I don't understand how you call me the lewd one, given
some of the times that tent has seen. Us

through. It's

I'm sorry

hard. To imagine
that same tent, now
is mine alone. My tent, which,
I've got to tell you, is so far
from pitched on this issue, I'd go
so far

as to call it untenanted

If I hadn't been in there
sleeping the sleep of one
who dreams as deeply
as he snores, having satisfied himself
on a pretty big score: that he
never has.

Snored.
She lied. She lied, for
all of that - she lied! She had to,
I guess. Because if she hadn't, I'd have seen it
myself, in her eyes. Visine's
in the kit. Always.

It's good for that. And you, my dear are good
for nothing one kiss couldn't cure by miracle,
and make better. You my dear,
are now only ever a sight
for shut eyes.

Who in hell
needs a tent
like this? Does Craig's
list come get it for you,
if you complain enough? If not,
what is it good for!

What good's a tent

with nobody in it but the rent, and through
which the idle wind blows,
whistling, if you can believe it,
in the dark, all night long, as if to shake you.
To shake your convictions. To overturn them. To exonerate
her. As if anything can, her American thighs
will forever remind me

of our song.

The din of which hurts the ears
of eaves droppers anywhere near that fucking
tent, these days, but considerately - not
after sundown! Ironically, when you consider
the refrain. And still they circle
and gather in 'round the rent - don't they?
Do they know any better? Where they raised
in a barn with some kind of misguided
open-door policy? And why would anyone take the milk

for free

when all he ever wanted was to buy
one sweet moo cow. The meat and the leather,
really, interest me. The milk,

not so much.

Are they still out there? Outside
our tent? The hidden, unseen eaves-peepers
- you could hear them breathing, couldn't you
too? It's not the wind
through the rent
in the supposedly puncture-resistant neoprene
canvas tent that was such a great bargain,
according to you, that even though
it was indisputably yours, like me
Used to be, anyway. Yet you took that piece
of wonder-equipment and threw it out the window
along with all the rest
of my life

I mean, of all my stuff
(except for the part you claimed as yours)
(that argument's still not finished yet, FYI),
that fucking tent was not even mine, man. Woman,
this argument's not finished, even though I know
we will never agree why.

Try.

That's all these creeps do. They come
gathering 'round the tent
in the dark, breathing, and
they try

to see what it's like
in there. Don't even think to take
off those clothes, girl - not
if you're prone to stagefright! Or,
panicking in the spotlight
of an imagined crowd. Remember
when you woke up and screamed so loud,
the bear screamed! You were so sad,
because you thought that bear
was some kind of pervert.

Well he wasn't. Take it from me.

You have always been way too accusatory
and suspicious. Sitting in that tent,
like that, just as you are, just as you were,

fantasizing about being surrounded by pervert
ninjas? Girl,

You must think you're so hot.

You probably tore that rent yourself.

Well, I guess
that's just once too many times,
one number to many to count
or bless, for me. So You.

Just you.

Wait. Once,

and let's settle accounts. It is the last,
the only,

remaining

outstanding bet.

Which of us is more perverted?

I wonder if you even remember
who your bet was laid down upon, once
upon a time, and still is. I mean, last time
I saw you wearing this fucking archaic cowboy wife
muslin getup - I bet you thought your whole values
had changed, and these were the clothes to reflect
it. Well,

you lost that bet too,
the moment you shook my hand

instead of not settling for such wan,
weak gestures. We used to both
- unanimously - insist on a kiss,
to seal anything of any moment.

So let's settle this.

With all these fucking prudes and nonexistent
perverts lurking, then storming in
with double that number of entendrers in toto,
in tow,

- all that crowd! Imagine
crowded into that
tent

to have their say, next
EVERYTHING sounds dirty, I bet

Or is that just? Or is that just your way?
To leave me like this, like that. Is that the high
you promised me, at the start of this so-called this
-is-going-to-take-forever take
of a hike? There will be

no take twos.
Or if it starts to - because secretly, I bet
if you had
had your way,
there will. If you
or if fate come around,
You will once again

find me wanting.
As it almost always will.

It begins that way.

And that's when you REALLY start saying,
to yourself, who even NEEDS this tent? It's bad
in here. BAD!
BAD IN TENT. I mean,

who needs it?

It ain't even raining - but

Can I get a shout out! From the inner boy scout?

Just in case you hadn't heard
that somewhere, deep inside, where the sun don't shine
you can't get burned - but you brought so much sun block, you figure
why not? That's
a little sick but whatever. If
you're prepared to hear what
I've got to say,
which

To be honest. I'd never hide - because
why? You know,
you're prepared for that too, aren't you?
Because you fantasized about this,
as a boy,
as a girl.

Just like I do, in a more present tense,
and in converse. Which of us,

Did you suppose can sport more colors of those? That person
is the real all-star. That is all
- apart from your little gang-sign secret hand-signal,
which expresses something vital to you - right
in your credo. That is all.

That matters.

It's important for you to know: always,
I've got the galoshes.

Just so you know. I neither camp,
nor trip, at least by preference, but
I'm going to bring those. Just in case!

Because once
in a while,
and I don't know if this holds still
or not, but I heard someone who looked,
like you,
a lot.

Like you.

I heard her say: even when and where
I least expect, even on the high, desert
plains, yeah, if you ask,
any time you do, do you know -

"do you want to dance?"

I can make it rain.

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