little death

by tremens


i told Corbett that he was old
and his face split
was reamed
by realising the wrinkles that hung off it
to say ’no’
he shook his dreary udders
from which no more wisdom poured
and pronounced ‘i am dry now’
with a surgical flourish

at sixteen i took up despair
and wondered from which nook in my shoulders
i could see my genius flow

i picked a country off a map
‘Nebraska’ was a good, strong name
for a nation with a beard and orange hills
i would save the people there
there was no better start to conquest
for i could see its end already
nations clamouring for the touch of my hands
mother teresa died in my bed
i wept and shuddered and
poked my head under thick covers
as i roamed about the streets
and felt a rhythm of vast aloneness
syncopate my bucking hips
i drooled cyanide into my pillowcase
from resistances dotted past Europe and Russia
i kissed sartre in the frigid french air
joined tongues with Einstein
shared St Helena’s with Napoleon
pushed Hitler off a cliff
his face shining from under my floor ball stick

i have awoken with my hands strapped to my sides
in a white room sprayed with antiseptic
after tearing the skin off my kneecaps
for i could not stand the regular pattern
of little scratched dots there
yesterday Corbett told me
i had never been to France
or Prague
had stabbed a friend with a toothpick
he told me he would not strangle me
and covered me with a grey blanket that fell in puddles
i could not straighten with my bound hands

but someday
when i can
i will write his name in a little red book
and beside it,
“is old”
and he shall fall to the ground in the same agony
that carved insides out of a scalpel-wielding me

––––––––––––––––––––
Corbett told me that i was mad.