IN THE MOUTH OF IT
In the pictures he put in his head. In the papers he held in his hands. Where everyone lived in his eyes. Where no one was where his were. And everywhere he sits, the sun finds another patsy.
the tank is filled / she passed by / the time was wrong / the rim was empty / I wasn't ready / my head was down / the car is stalled / my fries are cold / I raise my head / I see the meter / I flag her down / the station's full / I wait my turn / my tires are flat / my feet are sore / when you get a chance / if it's not too much / could I have some more / could you check the oil
This is the mouth of it. The breaking up. The getting together. The go of it. Is he going with you? Does he kiss you? A stressful weather. Very cold or bored. Or maybe la-di-da. Do you let him hold your hand? If it came from your mouth would he carry a tune?
A week after seeing. She calls. You came over. I have someone. If I break up I would be single? Not much. If I get together. If I'm broken. Let's try. Can't turn off. Aren't you the one. To stick. Me, I'm going with someone. I haven't broken anything. I'm not a switch. No TV channel in the habit of showing up. In the face of it. How would you feel in my room she said. I said fine. You said fine. Someone would plan something. To travel. To chat with. To say something. To hide.
How could I meet someone like that. Like the one who won't shut. Like the one who shows up everywhere. I could use some light like that. Sure could. Will he hold your hand? I will kiss him if I let him kiss me. Just gonna see. If it goes somewhere? If it's where I want to go. Some place to go, would be nice. Do you think if you stopped, you could see what's going on? I can't now, someone arrives very soon. I have to prepare. This is the mouth. And this is the cat.
WHAT HAVEN'T WE SAID?
"In The Mouth”:
I was interested in seeing what would happen if I started writing a standard relationship play, i.e. two people breaking up, or not, we're not quite sure...but...along the way, I found that the play wouldn't stay within the play-format. It transformed into a prose kind of beast, a poem with the dialogue acting as a sort of neo-noir narrative. So basically, I don't know where this came from! One of those hybrids you keep in the ranch, running free for years, no additives or steroids until the day comes where you're just ready to accept it for what it is and proudly display it at the fair! (something like that)
"what haven't we said”:
This came from a dance collaboration. I worked with 4 dancers, creating text for a 15-minute piece. The text was based on their movement during rehearsals as well as private conversations...hence a certain sprig of self-awareness. The original poem was much longer, broken into nine sections, with each section about 30 lines. I came back to the text repeatedly over the course of 6 years or so and didn't know what to do with it, it worked beautifully with the performance but had no life on its own. Earlier this year, I finally had the distance from its origin, and the drive, to dive into it and ruthlessly minimize it. I wanted to maintain openness in the line break and the bare vocabulary that would allow entering at various points...to acknowledge its movement inspiration while seeing where the text could jump and create its own rhythmic vision within the readers own stop start dance of what is and is not a thing. The use of seemingly simple language in a non-simple form is where a certain human connectedness can occur in poetry...our complexity remarkably formed...our sameness remarkably simple.