Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.
Two poems by Friedrich Kerksieck:
CALL IT WHAT IT IS & I WILL CALL IT SOMETHING ELSE
The bears are not sleeping
while they eat you.
The sun is sweating
itself out. The borders
of the lake stretch
to shake the toads
in their rushes.
A deer is wearing
nothing but a sweatshirt.
She takes her antlers off
& the lake is confused
& a little horny.
ONE EYELASH ON FIRE WON’T IGNITE THE BROW
Not one thing goes quite right.
I just pretty much love the hell out of these – and others.
“Realism was the last thing the nineteenth century did completely. Anybody can understand that there is no point in being realistic about here and now…It is not the nineteenth century but the twentieth century, there is no realism now, life is not real, it is not earnest, it is strange which is an entirely different matter.”
Then I took a bus to CT. After 19 hours of traveling, I got from Charlotte to Hartford. It took less time and hassle to get from Lima to NYC. The Brazilian lady sitting next to me said to her American friend, “This shit happens all the time in MY country but I expected better from yours.” Me too, lady, me too.
Sitting in the Delta gate after a long day of cancelled flights, delayed flights, nonexistent flights, flights of fancy (what if I just walk from North Carolina to Connecticut?) and flights of madness (did you really think this flight would take off? Madness!) Delta has sunk from not-that-bad on my list of Things That Are Not That Bad, to things-I-hate on my list of Things I Hate. Also on that list: TSA.
Some general highlights from the unrelenting hours of frustration and chaos involve being identified as a terrorist, when the TSA lady who patted me down ran her glove sample through the machine wrong. After the machine beeped, she shot me a look that was equal parts trepidation and triumph, and then informed me that I was bearing “unidentified substances.” When I asked her what they were, she said, a little triumphantly, “How do I know? They’re unidentified!” Then she called over a lady whose general bearing and demeanor would make ancient Rome tremble. As my new friend scrubbed her hands violently around my crotchal area, she asked, “When’s your flight?” I told her that it should have left already but was still delayed, and that my initial plan had been to run and hopefully catch it. She gave me the up and down. “I don’t know about that,” she said, and shoved her hands back into my crotch. TSA, serving and protecting America all the way.
(My Napoleonic no-foreplay friend did not, for the record, find any terroristic substances, unidentified or otherwise.)
So it is now hours after I should have been home, I haven’t eaten since yesterday, and I am sitting on the floor of an area that currently resembles a refugee camp more than an airplane terminal. Every few minutes they announce another canceled flight, and if they cancel my delayed flight, I will become one of those crazy people you hear about on the news who everybody says was so nice and harmless and then they just LOSE THEIR SHIT and jump out of a window and set themselves on fire and slap a nun, and nobody knows what was wrong with them. Peruvian buses may plummet over the edge of cliffs once a week, but the other six days, they are in motion. And nobody plunges their fists into your underwear before they let you get on.
there’s no other way:
8 or ten poems a
in the sink
behind me are dishes
that haven’t been
washed in 2
the sheets need
and the bed is
half the lights are
it gets darker
like the fox
I run with the hunted and
if I’m not the happiest
man on earth I’m surely the
- “my doom smiles at me” – Bukowski