Thursday, December 01, 2011

Excavations In a Used Bookstore-- Part IV

I dreamed, last night, a square dance--
the woman next to me so beautiful
there was no reasonable hope
of her wanting me, her face
so intelligent, so sensitive.

While all the circle of us held hands
I kept my hand away, pretending
a total indifference to this one woman
I most wanted to know. The circle
spun, and broke again, and rearranged
becoming quite disorganized, as finally
she scornfully leapt away to the far wall.

I woke up; I think
I understand.
I dream again; there is
a pack of buggish creatures underfoot
so I stomp down hard
into a loathsome clump
who run off, leaving behind
a little furry one, the only
good and gentler creature there,
its head crushed, neck broken--
I bend it back and forth to end its pain

and when I wake, I fear
I haven't understood either dream.
Yet I think I know my life
more or less. There are things
I don't remember, and fear
do doubt is lurking in the future.

Things are peaceful about me now;
I have almost stopped smoking
but the soothing walls of books
contain the world I left outside;
while efforts to remember
bring painful dreams.

There are romances for sale cheap,
outside the store, and in the back
they are stacked in a shelf three rows deep
in a long blind corridor
past fantasies of violence and money--
These are books we despise;
you read one, you've read them all

and yet my daydreams of ten years
were simpler and cruder than any--
I'd meet a girl I could talk to, or a woman--
Once it was my high school English teacher
(with the long, slender legs perched precisely
together on her stool every day)

but usually I'd dream of some pretty classmate--
I would break down and cry at the way she'd hurt me;
then I would kiss her, and touch
where I'd only imagined touching;
then we'd talk, and I'd discover
she was exactly as intelligent as me
(Yes, my mother was named "Stupid");

then we'd fuck frantically for hours, and then
we'd sweetly go to sleep in each other's arms
which was the best part of the dream
that kept me living for ten years of nights
before, and or after beating off.
I had an intellectual
adolescence, as you can see.)

I used to believe what I read in faces; this
surrounded me with brilliant, sensitive women;
now I only see one
and I feel much better!

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