All over me, all over me, my achy muscles look so unclean.
They gather around the same
spots and are untamed,
don’t communicate with each
other, shout out obscenities
to one another, are each
other’s best friends or they
don’t hold one another at night after they
sleep with each other.
I stare at myself, feeling for
my achy muscles. I stare at
forearms and skin-hangs
around the jaws. Achy muscles
inside my feet, kept square in my shoes.
Across the pale skin of my flesh, achy muscles
I never knew about keep appearing. Solidifying.
My body is a selection of muscles that have been
underdeveloped, so when they are used, they
propel themselves forward, against the skin
like a spaceship flying into outer space
and other galaxies.
Achy muscles in my arms
achy muscles down the ridges of my back
achy muscles smiling along a ridge of knuckle
ridges of shoulder blades too, and back ridges,
achy muscles dot the i’s of my knees and
torment my ass which has been squashed by car seat
this whole time, achy muscles.
I am a small squishy fat kid to you
I am a slanty eyed fishy cold handed kid
with tiny shoes and a circular face.
I am not beautiful, no, I am a great phony face of a human.
With the achy muscles of my eyes, I used
my achy tongue, and began making a conversation
with myself, concerning myself with myself or
measuring myself using myself.
I wish I had more time to try out
my achy muscles on someone else. I stare
into a mirror on the wall, it tells
me I am a sloth-weighty kid I am a sick
substitute for someone with something more.
Cacophony of achy muscles.
Bram Stoker’s Dracula of achy muscles.
The rim of a sewer in achy muscle.
Achy muscles to my little mouse friends.
I tell the doctor to look deep inside
my achy muscles, and tell me terrible things
about myself, about my bad habits or
physical deterioration or how I don’t measure
up to the qualities of humanity that ensure
prodigious reproduction of the race.
He squared his shoulders, took out a pair of gloves
and asked me if I had ever been
to Dollywood. I was a mascara-faced liar.
I was a tall taunt of a teenagers mistake.
I was the mess in the garage.
Tearing me up inside my achy muscles.
My muscles, short circuiting my brain muscles.
Deleterious muscles, muscles in the dictionary of my short dick.
I kept hunting myself, kept a fragile dictionary to disservice myself, kept
a concealed carry handgun holstered in the flapping crotch of
the disgust I kept to myself.
I am a collection of achy muscles, I respond
only to a series of achy muscles taunting me
and revealing the true man of my muscular form.
I am a halfbaked, wet set of muscles. A fragile cone
on the run down highway of old man muscles.
I am a carfiend rampaging in the hologram distemper of my achy muscles.
Solidified in the cracked insurance salesman of effluvium achy muscles.
This whole time achy muscles, this time
with the belt around my waist, hiking my pants
past my crotch to convey a keen admiration of
other people’s eyesight, my achy muscles.
Dissipate, lift the weights against the pace
of my achy achy muscles.
I took a walk with you in the moonlight.
I read you poetry about the end of the universe
I read you poetry about the end of mankind
I pretended to understand the end of mankind
My eyes prepped to a face like a jaguar cub
I read you a poem I wrote
And then nothing became a new word when the aliens arrived
3000 years in the future as everything became space dust
I was a lonely piece of space dust I looked up toward a star
With my tiny eyes unfocused on its cheerful shiny face
I was like a burned out universe becoming dark and disappearing
But the expanding universe in a gaping grin swallowed me into itself
And then back out into the universe because everything is the universe
I began to doubt unwavering human concepts like size and shape
And God came and looked deep into my eyes with his flashlight goggles
He held a heavy magnifying glass in his hands the size of Bob Dylan
He was a great big white sheeted ghost of a man
I had no sensory relationship to the universe, so he looked at me for one thousand years and I felt nothing
As I floated towards things on the other side of the stars I could see other things too
All along I knew the world was a river
I saw its course like a great toilet feeding itself
I was a body in its course going backwards through the history of sensory perception
Then stepping out into the cold water like stepping into a field or floating in the air
I was moving forward into a place where there was no other side
I was passed out in my great big bed resting on brown pillows half drunk
I was trying to write a paper about things that happened in the 19th century
I was trying to imagine the feelings that other people have during the day
I was trying to count the centuries
I was looking at a book and imagining a great big heated oven
I was walking along a beach like a crab with my back to the sand
I was buried halfway into a mountain watching the clouds hover
I was doing other things when I was supposed to be working
I was listening to cops pull over drunk college students on Clayton Street
I was a letter to my Dad that starts “I’m Dead. This sucks.”
I was a hundred years of sleep in a furry animal body
I was a great big phony with an ugly body planning a suicide for someone else
I was illegally downloaded music that no one remembered to listen to
All the things I thought I could do I realized I couldn't or that it didn't matter
I began to watch television on mute and turn my computer off
I began to sleep and then I woke up again and then I went to sleep and then I woke up again and then I went to sleep and then I woke up again and then I went to sleep and then I woke up again and then I went to sleep and then I woke up again and then I went to sleep and then I woke up again and then I went to sleep and then I woke up again and then I went to sleep
I told the world thank you for making me in the image of myself
The world responded gulp gulp gulp
Swallowing itself like some sort of fire
I asked you several questions about the poem I wrote
I asked you to list the main characters and the conflict
You began to cry, excreting rapid exhalations
Like a dog with its head in the ocean
I laughed like a wailing field of corn in a tornado
I began to touch you on your arm and lead you back to the house
The stars above us were hilariously brilliant and dismembering one another
I looked into the crooked hole of a well.
My friend Bob, burying daisies in the earth.
“Hello Bob,” I said, are you cold down there, near the water?”
He told me he was shivering in his boots.
I lowered some clothes in a bucket to him.
He shook his deer antlers at me, “Don’t you understand?
I am unwell, sick.
I will be content to scratch myself in this hot, dark bathhouse.”
So I camped by him, made sure he was ok, well fed.
Kept his food coming in the bucket, lowered blankets too.
Down that silvery decline I gazed at him, his wan eyes,
filling himself up with the grey dirt of the well.
Then there was a great big war in a field,
and the place got full up with sad-eyed soldiers.
I did not want to watch them, their faces, their squabbles
I head one man tear into another with his machete or his gun.
Bob was half buried in the earth at this point
slowly sinking downward like a calm sunrise.
I named all my dogs after you Bob, every one,
and even when one pitched a fit, or had to be put down
I always thought of you grinning, imagined the long face
of yours like a tree stump in a forest by a parking lot.
We are turning into solitary squares of earth, you and me, Bob.
We are being surrounded by the face of AWOL desperation.
We couldn’t make it out of here alive Bob,
without going through the checkout aisle at Wal-Mart and handing over our socks.
They will catch us Bob, even if they bleed to death on the trail.
They will nullify your meaning Bob, your flowers Bob, that trophy of earth
you bury yourself inside.
Near the water, the troops ached forward in their musty suits
dragging dust in plumes and arrowlike pangs towards my nostrils.
Bob had one eye and two nosehairs left in the air.
He winked at me like a clown. He said, wiggling the hairs,
that he was happy I was left out of his descent, as it was becoming
wetter and wetter, and he was sick with itching, mud, and insects.
I could only nod, now that my hands were tied too. I was ready
to face the general’s tribunal, and I was ready to engorge myself
on the punitive arrangement of their societies, and I could even procreate for them,
or show them the heart space of a bullet.
Or even, when the mist of dust fell, I could watch their eyes watch me, and I could tell.