6.05 / May 2011

Four Poems

Most of the Things I Have Thought Today

She has so many knots in her hair because we are desperate
in our fucking. Maybe desperate is not the right word.
Think: necessary. Think: éclat. Think the opposite
of mediocre and then continue to think that until you grow bored.
She is always digging, I am always grabbing, and there is
probably something else missing here. When I think about
her past, I think about space and how both of them make
no sense to me. They are both so big, and I have never slept
in a house that large. I get tired just thinking about starting
another poem. I write in my journal I could talk about orgasms
all day.
It is hard to be happy without beer. I am working
on my stereotypes. My favorite sitcoms are the ones with the pretty
wives, the heavy husbands who wear uniforms to work.
Is anyone else concerned about the space around their cuticles?
If marijuana is a gateway drug, then what is a blowjob?
It is hard to be happy when the best part of your day is agreeing
with the ambivalent weather. I like it when married women
don’t look at me. Sturdy beds are never overrated.
I’ve wanted to use this line for months: Where did all of the wedding
rings come from?
If people paid to read my poems, I would pay
someone to write me better poems. There is only one woman
I want to fuck, and that scares the shit out of me.

Let Me Leave Before the Medication Wears Off

I am this dream: a boy in a field of medicine
cabinets with teeth in his belly, teeth in his mouth,
teeth in his fingernails he bites off as he watches
you tell him a story about forgetting where you left
your keys. There’s a laugh track in the dream, a universal
remote that makes the ceiling fan spin. The spinning
ceiling fan is a high-pitched whine only a dog
can hear. Soon, we will be married & the dog will hear
the whine, will only care a little. In the dream, by
the time you think about leaving, it is so late the roads
are closed for the night. Your fake fit is a quintessential
sneeze. You left your keys on the windowsill.
You stay anyway.

When the zombies come, I’ll paint regret
on my forehead. See the squiggly line right
I’ll say. That’s just how she tasted.

Mostly the morning is ugly & my lips something I’ve fallen on.
I vote everyone plays checkers when they weep like raccoons in daylight.

Here I am slowly growing older. The Liberty Bell
didn’t have a crack in it, I got drunk & beat it up.
My hand broke into 92 pieces. Super glue fixes
God’s mistakes, holds cities of popsicles together.
The bathtub is the Atlantic Ocean for my toenails.
Someone said I have a dream, & now there are statues.
I want to get more political but I didn’t vote, I was
too worried about how many pills I could fit
in my mouth without swallowing. My favorite thought
of the day is wondering how long it will take for me
to thaw out inside your waist.

If a zombie fell in the middle of a forest and no one was around,
would you still kiss my neck every night before bed?

If my pills were sugar pills, my teeth would be brittle
& my mouth dry. This year I’ll turn you on with my tips
of soft cotton. We forget nothing about how the clouds spell
fidelity in the form of petroleum jelly, a slow tug. Just think:
if my pills were sugar pills, I’d still be sleeping.
Today I cry the clouds back on, grow weeds in thickets
of weeds, swallow other pills, spell today yet dark, spell today
less comely. Yesterday I built forests in my mouth, got bit by snakes,
built rainforests without rain. Forget fires, just let the vines wrap.

From my beaten up hands: If it weren’t for my OCD,
I would’ve fucked at least six more women. That number
is low, situationally incorrect. If it weren’t for my OCD,
I would probably itch below the waist. My hands never go out
to eat with me. I order anything with a bun, so I don’t
have to use the silverware at the restaurant.

The fourth Rocky isn’t about beating Communism,
it’s about machine vs. tree trunk. Or maybe it’s about
holding hands with someone as equally pretty as you.

Tonight the trees are sick of being trees. After turning
their backs on photosynthesis, their roots have begun
pumping blood. I feel sad for their discounted hearts,
their future bad fucks, the children they’ll only want
some of the time. Tell me not to forget mornings I woke
up in your hair, woke up on a hill on a mountaintop
30 degrees south of your ribs.

It’s so dry & odious in the thickets of vines on mangroves
in the rainforest I built with no rain. Forget waking up to my face
against the wall. The sound of today: a split coconut, a fire alarm
ringing backwards, but you can’t tell the difference. The morning
news is back on this evening. The world got younger this year.
I can barely remember my year in reverse, so I sleep in your bed
to dream your dreams about your year in reverse. Who knew
I wasn’t ready to climb out of your thighs so soon?

You Obviously Miss Me

I got into a fight with my more attractive doppelganger. You could be famous I whispered through his tight jaw. I want to lick your cleft. We were boisterous in our intimacy. Sit somewhere cold with me he said. I will watch your heart go so slow. There are snakes in his teeth, the most poisonous kind. He has at least three inches on me, he uses the condoms in the gold foil, and he never forgets to wipe his face after he brushes his teeth. The grammar in your poetry is terrible he told me. He burned a hole through my manuscript with a cigarette butt. White space is white space for a reason. I licked his neck, I got a high. I knew he loved me even though I wore flip-flops in winter. We both went home clutching our cocks.

Heavy Petting in Cooper City, FL

We’re so young I still look out the window when you cry.
Still, this is how it starts: there is tongue kissing before baby
names. There is forgetting how to sleep alone before
baby names. Sometimes your thighs are too sweaty to hold
before baby names. Lately everything falls right out of me:
a wave having a seizure while someone tries to learn how to surf.
In this poem we are in bed because everyone can guess why.
We are in bed and I say Your tongue is the coldest tap. That is a lie.
You are so fucking warm. You are an electric blanket we keep next
to the icebox. In bed I say You are the equivalent of seven brownies.
You say Prove it. So this is what I do: I bake the sun up.
We forgot to draw the blinds, so I bake the sun back down.
It is pitch black, so I bake some lightning bugs and tie them
to my chest hair. While I bake, you go into the other room and send me
dirty text messages with descriptions of your back spread out like a speedway.
I have to go into the icebox to cool off. I don’t turn on the electric blanket.
My blood is milk, skim, thin enough to reach my toes. I have shivered
in my sleep since at least eight years before we met.
There is a timer, and then the timer is done being a timer. I am done baking.
I hold the seven brownies in my lap while you drive us to the doctor’s
office. The doctor checks your blood pressure, feels for lumps. Then he checks
the brownies for lumps. I was smooth with the icing, and the doctor
is pleased. He puts his stethoscope to the seven brownies, says
Big breath now. The brownies puff out their chests like muffins.
They sigh like long distance runners. The doctor takes off his latex gloves.
He says Equivalent, like it was a category on Jeopardy! He says
Homologous, synonymous, identical, tantamount, indistinguishable.
The doctor looks at me. He wants to know if the brownies
came from a box. I tell him I picked them from the garden,
that I was turned on by how soft the soil felt between my toes.
He says And her? pointing at you. I tell him I keep an Easy Bake
Oven between the sheets.

Gregory Sherl is the author of HEAVY PETTING (YesYes Books, 2011) and THE OREGON TRAIL IS THE OREGON TRAIL (Mud Luscious Press, 2012). This piece is part of his collection MONOGAMY SONGS, which will be released by Future Tense Books in the summer of 2012. He blogs/interviews/reviews at http://gregorysherlisgregorysherl.com/.
6.05 / May 2011