I like to keep this apart from that. Old things smell fresh when you burn and inhale them. Crazyhorse is one word if you “hide spelling errors.” In the canvases of Beatriz Milhazes, often a blue fish eye stares, unless it is a sun in full eclipse painted through a filter admitting cerulean. Sleep in cartoons is represented by a line of z’s. Stereolab was like that, colorful bicycle tires laid over and over each other, like rain on a pond. I will write no more forever, I wrote on the test, and got an A. It never occurred to me I wouldn’t. I wasn’t jealous of the light when you closed the shades. Jalousies, is the word I thought of saying. Pince-nez. But I never found the bullet in the rafters, because I never looked. I only knew the ceiling didn’t leak. Or at least the floor remained dry. For some reason in the other room I was carefully holding my glasses, and slung them when the pistol went off and my voice cracked open some new can of cream of mushroom sound. I bought a green glass pen and green ink, just to see what you would do with them.
Few coddle an egg. Fewer bake an English muffin from scratch. Not that I do any frigging thing myself, but I have the feeling if I contained an egg things might have gotten better. I wouldn’t mind the return of my hair nor how swimming pools might clear up and put on a sunny face and it wouldn’t sting to open my eyes when I pulled myself to the bottom and fingernailed the quarter’s bezel. The rubber mask smell would only mean I’d spit in my round glass and washed it so it wouldn’t steam, as Jacques Cousteau would be saying, handing my grandfather a slice of wine sausage cut with his personal dining knife. I’d have coddlers with stencils of songbirds, one red, one blue, on their outsides and silver lids, and a chance to add a butter curl and cream to the cup before I scrub my face with rye toast.
After losing the arm I lay sleeping for days and then I went down to the river. To wash my body seeing my dog run and the spittle glitter on his muzzle. A row of thin stakes I had pulled from the grass and hidden well had been replaced with freshly numbered markers. The ribbons scarving trees were pink. X’s were painted on the fountains. There was no point in touching them. We crouched, his flank warm, behind a huge illuminated gazebo roofed with crimson tin. Too many fags using the old one, a man with a heavy beard had said at a party. A yellow caterpillar shrieked and swallowed bluebirds whole. It scooped up turtle tracks and industrious colonies and then it started in on the bank. A small crowd of men stood silent, nomadic, sipping steam as it chewed at roots. When I felt the wood beetle crawl onto me I looked down to stroke the glossy back, to pick up wings by the sheaths and feel the tug of barbed legs as they clung. My dog sank his muzzle onto my thigh. My knee cracked, giving us away.
apocryphaltext Vol. 2, Nos. 2 & 3
Theodore Worozbyt’s first book is The Dauber Wings (Dream Horse Press, 2006). His second, Letters of Transit, won the 2007 Juniper Prize (University of Massachusetts Press, 2008). Recent work appears in Poetry, Po&sie, and The Best American Poetry 2007.
3 poems by theodore worozbyt