I Can't Bear To Title This
Eating sushi without you
Can be really depressing,
And this is one of those times.
The rain spatters the East Village,
Little dogs look at me without interest.
Having no piercings is also depressing
Because then I can't buy more with you,
A diamond nose stud,
A new silver labrette,
I don't miss thinking of you
O.D.ing in a shooting gallery here,
After which I e-mailed Matt, still
Half-crazy from Ohio, ecstatic
That you were alive, and he said,
"From the outside it sounds really, really bad,"
Then O.D.ing in the same place
A month later before you hit the floor
One final time in Carlton Arms 6B.
And it was bad, it was fucking horrible,
And as I sip this good green tea,
Alone with your mysterious essence,
I look out on St. Mark's Church,
Where I said goodbye to you,
Where I said hello to you,
And I know that one day we'll meet
In full regalia once again,
But as I dreamed of you at three
Then had to walk past horrors toward you,
I imagine this life for me
Will be a series of slow sips and longings,
And that I will go on a long, long time,
I fear and think.
We Had a Fight
Slurred guilt is a fish
We suck the bones out of,
A vertical declaration through an orange
Megaphone to keep time time.
Every Nasty Thing billows out
Of a wall-to-wall alias. Sundry misfortune,
Do we then honor the random landscapes
Escaping through a train window
I watched as you shot up and died?
We both felt wrong, but the I'm sorry
Part failed to crop up. I'm sorry.
Trust is a skyscraper through a keyhole
Shivering in a thunderbolt-flavored rant.
Until your laughter joins with mine
I will mow my way through the shiny grass of a lyric
Moored to antique torsos, drown myself in the shell-
Pink scent of air fresheners lodged in the gaps
Where the world used to be.
The asphalt is sufficient nourishment for stars,
And if I swallowed an elixir of chrome,
I'm sure I could become a car shooting from disheveled lips,
My headlights eroding the city.
But I am losing my form,
I am form collapsing into itself,
I am a triangle dangling from the throat of a murderer,
And I can see my spirit in the red behind my eyes
When I kneel before the pillars of the real
And the foggy amplitudes of creation bounce
Over the messy gurgle of my tears.
I will all my bad traits to be baptized in the feathers of owls.
I will the spitting tongues of rivers to slick me in their skins.
But time is knotted around the perfumed skirts of the ancients
When the distant plaint of a surgical knife
Dives into an ambergris of pain.
The evening resumes its former shape,
A shop window full of jewels,
A remnant of the ideal sky lost atom by atom
And trapped inside a jar.
Your deepest looks summon vapors rising
From the rusted machinery of the infinite.
And if night takes you into its mouth with its soft wiles,
I promise I will explode both your memories and mine
That have left their imprints on the air.
Until your laughter joins with mine,
I will be the spectator raking light over tangled thickets
Of this vegetable cathedral of all my thoughts,
I will be the dream and the death,
The errant bridge between dream and death,
And I contemplate myself arriving at a mirror
Propped inside a tomb of somnolent clouds.
I have been seeking you for a long time now,
And my soul refuses to rest in your image
That fled its sleeping body
Curled around a metal lake burning with the logic
Of a tenement on fire, its pronged inertia
Welded to the shifting wax of shadows
Congealing into steady flame.
Until your laughter joins with mine,
I will be this strangled alphabet
While words collect in canisters somersaulting
Through hallways of mournful music while my coffee grows cold.
Noelle Kocot has published three books of poetry, 4 and The Raving Fortune with Four Way Books in 2001 and 2004 respectively, and Poem for the End of Time and Other Poems with Wave Books in 2006, and has received awards from The American Poetry Review, The Academy of American Poets, The National Endowment for the Arts and The Fund for Poetry, among others. Widow of composer Damon Tomblin, she lives in Brooklyn, where she was born and raised.