Having Given Up Hope, He Is Confident


A metaphor can kill a man.
                     -Wallace Stevens

Because I hadn’t seen it, the truth was a lie. I had arms a couple of days long.
They embraced an infection, lifting it gently to my head. One eye wept and the other
A muddle of lemons, a cough of grapes.
When I go out to eat, I leave my real belly at home.
Poets astir in the teacup negotiations.
I needed them to arrange the tastier executions.

After the critics, I rained for three weeks and then began rowing hunger towards
my homeland. When I arrived, the failure welcomed me and offered marriage. Pretty
soon I gave birth to my new self and my wife suckled me. I was trying to live as
intended. I ate everything.
I left one stair at a time. The yellow wine of recognition accompanied the
Was the critic still my daughter then?
How many dictators remained between her pages?

In the cemetery, the stone general stands with his heels buried in the horse’s flesh.
I’m not going to live in the sea this summer.
I’ve decided.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.