Today's poem is by Peggy Munson
Speedy Inexpensive Chaos Theory Poem About Short Term Memory Loss
This is the intellectual property of an iconoclast.
Now pass go. You can hoard hotels on Park Place
that say Doctorate. Marry any old hope chest, marry it
like a canon. Using the objective correlative a chosen
object can represent an emotion, say, fear. If you get
all the of allusions here, you have experienced capital
gain. Pretend, pretend that memory is merger.
I have two words of survival: pragmatic pyromania.
When I was younger, I collected matchbooks from
seedy places my babysitters went. I ran to the creek
and lit each red head. On some days now I wake up
and have no closets or attic. You can't imagine
the panic that ensues. Did I take my pills? The ones
I shouldn't divide because of molecular structure
always go down sharp and bitter. I now believe
everything comes together like nefarious dementia
calling all children Mary. My schoolteachers
remembered only virgins and whores. Taught
me how polarity nullifies. I forget what the babysitter drank,
where she went, if she left me in a trailer
with white trash chemistry sets of matches and singed
Barbie clothes. No, the woman in the trailer had
cat's eyes; she was good-hearted and never selfish.
Tornado land mobile parks; such slurry girls in red dresses.
I was home making animals out of my father's socks.
A psychologist would have said I had some tendency
toward speciesism. I hung around with these trailer-trash
cousins but they weren't first cousins. We sang
The Beatles song "Revolution" over and over with
feral hair before a night of funnel clouds that resembled
teats. None of us could operate a cow or drive a tractor.
The country is linear like an American novel. Nobody
convalesces. It's so polite. People leave their shoes
at the door like in Japan, and the decor is a kitsch Americana
you might boldly call urbane. In this quaint motif,
I was the omnivorous 1972 Sears Kenmore dryer
that swallowed halves of pairs and turned them
into trendy blind African rodents with my hands.
(However, nobody from my dad's hometown watched
the art film about rodents acting bug-like and the way
we love adrenaline and machines.) The point is,
I lost my father's socks. Those absent animals
inhabited my personal jungle. Mom and Dad bought
the Kenmore washing machine the year I read
The Little Engine That Could out loud. They were off
making mirages out of t-shirts; we spilled the babysitter's
meals. That month a girl I would later know
was raped atop a dryer. Her dad said it was fun and
they were playing; the dryer sang its RPMs of dehydration.
When she began to remember, I started taking trains.
(I dreamed we were each other's memories,
but the girl had already sealed me off like an injury.)
That art film reflects the Mary mind meld but in it, we are all ants,
walking over torn flesh of picnics and also English acting
like Hugh Grant. Halfway home to Illinois,
woke up dizzy and nauseous in the trompe l'oeil
of nowhere cornfields with one sock on, drooling
like an old man who couldn't remember why
he studied Ezra Pound because language so quickly
turns fascist. The girl was on my mind since I met her
in Ohio, but besides that, nothing. The hairless
bare foot that represented the soul and not intentional
minimalism looked desperately for its partner
who had tickets to the Ark. And I remembered,
they were called Vorticists and naked mole rats and
both loved clawing the absence. Something about the brain
and its nationalism and my lack of embassy. Gratitude
for my remaining long term memory, for her name;
she hated that feminist crap about lack. But I had no
sock to speak of. The fields were blank and long as winter,
and where was Mary, quiet Mary, oh precious little Mary?
My big toe was colder than her flagpole tongue.
Copyright © 2008 Peggy Munson All rights reserved
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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