This Guy Harvey’s Delusions
Life has arrived at the wrecking yard with a chipped tooth. Yes, a broken car is a
sad thing, but a broken man can fix it.
The man in the black raincoat licks her leg. It continues to shine.
Blue like a swollen thigh. Blue like a blood red window.
And this red is not a color but a method of transportation, like a canoe. You turn it
over in the sand to find evidence of where it’s been. After a while grass grows.
Then it is time to get angry, flash a little moolah. Discover a new world.
From here to there is always farther than from there to here.
After a while grass grows.
* * *
I understood the lush story would not have me in it, but I wanted the oh so
suggestive strawberries to ripen quickly. I wanted an ice-pick for the offending eye, to
open more drastically my dark jacket like a sullen goat.
O the song says hush and the cow dies of jaundice O instead of you there are
“I wasn’t the only one hunting,” I told that commie faggot before I bought him a
drink to celebrate his gentle erotic interference.
O the song says shush and the cancer speaks like wildfire O instead of him it
belongs to you now.
There at the bar we all spoke i-n-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-y s-l-o-w-l-y, like a herd of potatoes
learning to speak in unison.
O the song says moo and the dead cow cries for your mother O piggeldy poggeldy
steal all the brandy for the blackbird pie.
Yes, the birds began to sing.
During the aural invasion already in progress, which made it difficult to ascertain
which song was actually singing.
* * *
And then I went down to the bottom of the well and you still weren’t there. The angry cause dripped from my chest. I was living a life so meticulous it was separating
rain from more rain.
There was my first family lurking in the relevant shadows.
It was a nervous sort of roundness. Fading-into-the-shadows has always been my
family’s chosen form of hysteria.
Like a dog on the far side of the sunken little lake jerking in that motion of barking.
But no sound arrives.
* * *
I bring you a book because I do not know the proper way to deliver a stone.
Using words like nails, I try to restrain a tiny apocalypse in the raindrop clinging to
my knee. A ragged pile of abandoned guttural chants bleeds slowly into the tracks of the
dusty wooden shopping carts the farmer’s wives are pushing up and down the
not-so-metaphorical aisles of corn.
Once again, it’s raining. It seems that you haven’t read enough into this offering.
* * *
Go away until the nothing happens again.
As in, “I wish to darken you.”
Yes and yes and yes again and then lights failing in the window.
As if the lost man were simply a physical object with a hole in it.
* * *
My friend, the disturbance, discovered you weeping and did not offer his cloak. I
didn’t ask him to.
The future had passed, flailing away like an “ever after.” I put some words in like
stones and then a greater absence of stones.
The moon splintered the foot of the blossoming apricot. Ghost willows fingered the
White wet dust between your shriveled toes like a fungus, leg after leg lifting from
the earth’s release. Each new season shouldering heavier burdens, eating away at the
strength of your false convictions. Oh oh but the unknowing beauty of your failing.
Sweeten that which you drop from your limbs that it might suggest in its own life who
you once were.
* * *
Like the last bird in the borderless darkness before you understood the light was
coming. The wings of muscles dancing before the fire of work.
A kind of outer skin. A creature that is not from the moon. A creature that is the
It’s your daughter that wants you to live this way.
The daughter you never had.
* * *
I must protest the hidden acceptance. I must carry the clouds to their new home
inside the cranium of the lunar opposition. Mating aside, there’s room for an army.
I’ve given you all my sand. Can’t you readjust?
Welcome tomorrow, Jack, a wheel without a finger lozenge.
The beach is already longer than yesterday.
As in to “tide” one over. As in to “put one on.” As in to change one’s position in
relation to another’s changing position.
Placent with alternative commitments.
The gift one fails to return.
An altogether orchestral delinquence.
The storm still lit with it. The weather wagging its tired tongue.
* * *
And as the story darkens, the shoe barks to repeat the dog. Simply a way of living.
A broken leg like a cracked catapult clouding the window with distorted loot, the whole
thing sufficiently intellectualized to pass for play, a barbecue limping in the twilight.
You aren’t here, it says. You aren’t here yet.
What I meant is not what I meant to say.
O train, O clock, O shoe of reluctance, issued from a motherhood so padlocked the
child could have burst.
I happened because you were there. I am your I then you and gone.
I’m not a metaphor. I just speak with my words closed.
You don’t have to fall in to be part of the conversation.
* * *
Guttering candlelight looks for a door, an abeyance instigating deserts.
One book resplendently shelved below the counter with a voice like a shovel.
Cold birds singing like toasters. A stone at anchor.
So I camp under the bones in my wind cave. Slapping a dead centipede of
appearances against this man I thought I was, whispering across the swamp of seems, I
enter the house my name built.
Red shoes and a lamp in the pear tree, citizens descending. The limbs are silent and
because of that, you can hear the dreams in them.
A song couldn’t do that, a life could.
Knocked on his head like a door.
* * *
Stabs himself in the head, beats the shit out of himself, inserts a cemetery. Tries to
Back to a misunderstood confectionery poem, a little chewy in the center like a
cluster of nuns sunbathing.
Which isn’t here. Not at all. Brightly so.
Paul Klee tripping over his mother’s madras tie. That’s here. And a photograph of
childish innocence on a fat-tired bicycle. And the elbows of Klee’s childhood popping
out of threadbare sleeves like malnourished kittens. And the kittens later. Nourished.
No nuns. No sun. Lots of bathing.
And no mustache fallen off like a priest riding the wrong bicycle. If the handlebars
start to bleed, I’ll need assistance.
And here’s this psychologist with a nervous tick, see, and the joke’s bigger than she
is. She’s going to marry the gimp gas jockey at the Texaco. The one with the wrong
Frequently, she’s out of season.
Oh wet, the wonder of willingly, the next warden wandering wanly, a wimple of
wit wagging. Could a been me, could a been the other guy. Could a been the other guy
In this way worry diets me. Mouth mooning.
Perhaps I’ve forgotten what I’m offering. The bag of me I gave you torn, a night
school of insects opening. Shall I spill another layer of false bemusement over the
tapestry of the poker playing dogs? The most miserables. Right now that’s its “is.”
* * *
And the world outside remained clumsy and strong. Sooner or later you have to let
Words so polite they hurt.
Like a man whose wounds invented the weapons that made them.
* * *
The next few weeks always behave oddly. The taste of fear at the back of your
throat like the spit valve of an old tuba.
The actors continue losing the same voices. In the first row, kitchen appliances.
And the music doesn’t melt.
The glassblower sneezes. Several poorly portrayed dandies catch their skirts on the
turnstile. One lone raven hops over an unidentifiable corpse. The music doesn’t melt.
Jowls aflutter, the play welcomes night’s waning childhood, the wilderness of its
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.