Regular Poem: I’ve Been Wanting

18 Feb

I’ve been wanting
to write poetry
lately–
just shattered,
scattered lines
everywhere but
mostly nowhere
about everything but
mostly nothing.

Apparitions taking the shape of
gerunds and participles
make their appearances–
nightly, weekly, fortnightly–
and I want to see them again
tangibly, palpably
on a chalkboard or whiteboard or smartboard,
but they are
ghosts
of all the words I’ve loved before.

And then of course the weather.
It’s been weeks since a sexy fog,
but I still feel a chill–
the stupidly exciting kind–
when I shuffle in
with static electricity in my hair
in a classically midwinter outfit,
and there’s a connection with all past
midwinter outfits,
something so mundane and redundant
as to be
beautiful.

And everything’s perfectly
in order
or
perfectly in disorder
down to the ill-fitting blankets on my bed (each
a different size
and none of them for a queen–
I’m too humble to admit the metaphor)
and the way I dissolve into that bed each night–
150 pounds of mostly whiskey,
grief and grievances and
rage

but also
forgotten half-remembered memories,
titles of movies I’ve never watched,
lines from books I pretended to read,
radio jingles unheard for ten years,
slogans for restaurants no longer in business,
flashes of surreal and pixelated video game levels from 1992,
mathematical formulas and
ancient vocabulary words,
a rap about French verbs that take etre to form past tense,
names of discontinued makeup,
malformed vocal warm-ups ululating to no one,
dreams–
the hope variety
and the unconscious variety
and the subconscious variety.

I drift
in and out of sleep,
in and out of loneliness,
in and out of self-loathing,
in and out.

“I’ve been thinking of doing a fast,”
I say
as I drink a second Miller High Life
(and repeat its catchphrase over and over in my head–
The Champagne of Beers,
The Champagne of Bottle Beer,
The Champagne of Beers,
The Champagne of Bottle Beer).
“I’ve been thinking of–”
I say
as I’m thinking of thinking of.
“I’ve been thinking of–”
I don’t say
as I’m thinking.

There’s no poetry here.
But there is–
of remembering and
not remembering
of wanting
of wanting to want
of wanting to not want.

I’ve been found wanting;
I’ve been left wanting;
I’ve been wanting.

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