From "Apparition Poems" Pt. 2


The “I” that writes cannot be
(he told us, perched on a hill of
flowers which he crushed, but, of
course, incompletely, and not all of
them at once) strictly for-itself as it
has no substance: a student walked

up, pricked his forearm (the back side
of it) with a small razor, he cringed but
only briefly, leaning forward so that a
row of buttercups doused him yellow.
The “I” that writes has a relationship
that is very much for itself, but it has

a strictly independent existence, so that
what constitutes a human “I” has no
meaning for it. Now, you need to know
this: I was not the student with the razor,
but I supplied the razor to the student
that cut the professor’s forearm, but you

will never know how I got it, or why.


liquor store, linoleum
floor, wine she chose 
 was always deep red,
 dark, bitter aftertaste,
 unlike her bare torso,
  which has in it
  all that ever was
  of drunkenness—
to miss someone terribly,
to both still be in love, as
she severs things because
 she thinks she must—
 exquisite torture, it’s
 a different bare torso,
(my own) that’s incarnadine—


Who told poets to be poets?
Nobody tells anyone things
like this anymore— Poetess,
she comes to me with “this,”
it’s all wine and roses for two
nights, but I’m left dizzy— is
this the end of poetry? There’s
a war between poetry & sex, it’s
always sex’s dominance we fight,
she tells me this, but we still make
love. And it’s good & hard. I’m
pure in this, I tell myself. I know
what I’m doing. I do, too, in ways
limited by perspectives, of which
this is half of one. Is it enough?