The Many Child

The Many Child

 

I read of Neruda’s woman in a rainstorm

To hide my tears of sorrow and joy

In the soaked folds of frumpy clothes,

I tattooed Yeats and Joyce in a re-appropriated

Celtic cross on my underused forearms,

I fell asleep to the lectures of David

And found the footnotes online,

I gathered the beatniks and bohemians

And placed them in a seashell,

To better listen to the howl

Of their Grecian wrestling matches,

I hiked up to Byron’s lonely mountain

To hand him a sterile straight razor,

Updike told me to kill myself,

But he may have been joking,

Plath and Dickinson scorned my advances

But practice makes perfect,

I went on a road trip with Stafford and Hugo,

(the Montana one)

And noted how the Lincoln town car’s furnishing

Smelled just like old folk,

The African bloodline told me I could watch

But best keep my fucking pen away,

And frankly I agree, my pain is false after all,

When I shook Hemingway’s hand

He broke mine with that grizzled paw,

I visited the graves of William and Milton and Spenser

And the other forefathers

But forgot what I wanted to ask,

So I lay down and hugged their beds,

I asked Alexie and Bitsui if I could dance

And they said “sure”

But I heard the snickers,

I walked with Whitman in the magic parts of New York

And asked what he thought of my beard,

That night we helped trim each other

And sang into whiskey jugs.

I feel them gnawing at my spinal chord,

Their hands pulling themselves

Up my rib cage, like a ladder,

Clawing back to the spot of that first big bang,

That soup of sexual discharge,

Trying to recede to the dark places

Where we all come from,

And I beg them,

hold me just a bit longer.

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