Crusts of the Poet

by Jill Freedman (1971)

Smoke.
Trails painted red.
Trolls collecting the wrong fees
for dollhouses never built for the wrong sexes.
Liars lie where wisdom ought to breed.
Children bathe in too many shades of juice to digest.

This is a circus, I feel I’m in a circus.
Wherefore art thou?
Alongside me?
Yes. No.
Yes yes YES.
Phantom messes lodge in my seat.

Please please purchase me out of this life,
away from rainbow flakes of gravity.

So much expressiveness in toes
So much pain in the world, in people,
such a huge need for love exists.

Changeling stress won’t utter the words
you want to hear.
For in its furry body,
only farthings can get
the newfound dribblings of self
to scream.

Imagining self stains my goggles
with a pillowcase sodden by night,
a chance completed by sleep
and left seeping out
in a prattle of bygone.

Watered mouth,
a fully satiating self
sits at desk, so still.
With the discipline of Titus,
she surges into herself
by finally giving the world
its reason to beg for more.

Rub your beak in charcoal and see
the darling pea that yearns for a pod
nearing beanful engulfment without respite.

You’re a midget?
Well, you’re tax-deductible.
You heard me!
You’re so short
you don’t even have to pay!

Pleasing the likeliest of crowds
hardly seems a feat of great mercy,
yet it still happens constantly and consistently.
Doesn’t matter who stops it, tries to, or doesn’t listen at all.

This particular scrim still outlines your tides of life,
waving you up and around me.
Moon forces up the liquid love around us,
eternally, yet only now so tangible.

What is, what was.
There are so many ways to go about it.
This trifling, meddling carnage
which could be dizzying.
But lo and beheld, it tries not-
to be fortuitous and so newfangled.
Ironically never terse enough.

Pile on the zygotes!
Just high enough to tempt the tempter,
to bludgeon the mindstuff.

Flippancy will not delight
where toppling over preconceived jokers might.
Chipotle mediation for kind hearted, restless fools
in meetings of clowns and miscreants.

Please do not dismiss my fitness like that.
Secularities strike me peculiar!
“If nostalgia is a country, tango is the capitol.”

Splash out the unadulterated bliss!
Until there is little left to understand.
Only the last left sage branches,
spriggets slid through teeth.
Pulled off tiny leafy by tiny stem,
leaving behind bare-armed twig bodies
littering leafless floors,
The changeless martyrs of forest time.

Encrypt a poem
for the sake of the poem,
and see.

 

2009

Photograph by Jill Freedman
from “Circus Days” (1971)

 

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