“Ancient Text” Louise Gluck
I need to make my life my own again. I keep falling into the same projection. If anything is real, it will present itself. I am in no way God. I control none of this. I just have some simple special visions that I let take over me. I felt love from many directions and projected it all onto one subject. It’s easier when things aren’t real. I am unable to give love back because I can’t accept it. I am learning to accept it. I am not hiding. I am done being on display for my projection. Until I can get a grip on the illusion and the reality, and learn to live for myself, I am not going to participate in the charade of validation when it is truly for one person, my projection, that is not a real person, nor will ever be.
let me weep in peace without categorizing my depression, dear God.
Big picture: I don’t belong anywhere.
Small picture: Buy bed.
how men save me in their phone: ass, blue eyeliner, ink stain on left hand, brutally apathetic to male presence, currently asking for directions from someone else
“We have loved different people, knelt at different graves,
prayed at different altars.”
I described my most recent
bout of obsession.
I understand confession.
In the corner with the
bandeau top and jean jacket,
medicinal fingers curved into claws,
the parting lips like a slow
I’m holding the gaze: eyes are big and brown
and dead set on yours.
The chewed straw in my hand;
bad polish job
across blocks to grab at it–
the way I see the way I
move through you.
Shrink at my own
I thought I was bigger than this.
Make a pact to never talk again.
“What a fertile experience you are having,”
she said through the receiver
after I told her I demanded public humiliation
for what I demand.
I’d rather have the stuff
you seem to be having:
drifting cottonwood blossoms in
your Earl Gray,
a sobering conversation with
mountains in the viewfinder,
a paying job you
no guilt about needs
What I have:
a beggar’s bruise on my knees,
three groveling letters in
pithy titles or
in a way that makes no sound,
a new boyfriend in the clip
something to fuck with
so I can move past one slip
that left me shaking in my
the bottom of your eyes,
echoes of absence,
nothing of my exes,
impregnable hurts that I birth,
unfucked sons to show off
when I run into you again
and you’re still not ready for words.
I see the grin of a horizon.
Is love the short space between
two wants? Where am
I? What is
Sometime late January,
you spent the night with a woman
watching the moon grow.
Come take me in my own abattoir,
I coughed up a
I’m red-hot and full of other people.
I had created a dalliant Beirut in my bed
to occupy us.
You were outside in a corduroy jacket
counting her freckles as stars
as I was slicing the inside of someone else’s arm
to crawl inside for warmth and wait for us
to duel it out
in the morning;
I was biting the inside of my cheek to taste
victory and she was on top of you,
I had been waiting to show you
You had been waiting with
kerosene and some promises
to hold my ashes
Because we all go back and forth between the things we want,
the things we need,
the things we are right to own
and the things we can’t ever have;
the obscured past
re-written to include more details;
each other’s intemperate tics,
each other’s suns and angry Saturns,
each other’s wasted fortunes and
last dead pets.
Each other’s turn ons.
Each other’s conversation starters.
Each other’s boredom and
perpetual hard ons
Conversations with yourself
where your self aggrandizement is honored
in your head;
where your victories take lovers,
where you are the empire fist with the
tight grip on slipping sand
and I’m still an apparition
stroking your cheek,
reading the lines on your hands.
I chose a fruit tree over you because
I was starving.
I had an intention.
I believe in nourishment,
I sit with my bellyache.
You believe in pulp cages
taking the shape of
flesh and you can just
eat yourself out.
You sit with my face
in your lap.
The sun is shining.
I keep thinking we can meet somewhere
Orange blossoms blowing over Castile
children begging for coins
I met my love under an orange tree
or was it an acacia tree
or was he not my love?
I read this, then I dreamed this:
can waking take back what happened to me?
Bells of San Miguel
ringing in the distance
his hair in the shadows blond-white
I dreamed this,
does that mean it didn’t happen?
Does it have to happen in the world to be real?
I dreamed everything, the story
became my story:
he lay beside me,
my hand grazed the skin of his shoulder
Mid-day, then early evening:
in the distance, the sound of a train
But it was not the world:
in the world, a thing happens finally, absolutely,
the mind cannot reverse it.
Castile: nuns walking in pairs through the dark garden.
Outside the walls of the Holy Angels
children begging for coins
When I woke I was crying,
has that no reality?
I met my love under an orange tree:
I have forgotten
only the facts, not the inference—
there were children, somewhere, crying, begging for coins
I dreamed everything, I gave myself
completely and for all time
And the train returned us
first to Madrid
then to the Basque country