I go blue, I drop out I go and I skirt school and work and I run away and I go forest I won’t I won’t I shall not and I leave now and here I am red cardinal pecks in the dirt far behind water rushes past sleeping snakes babe dragons with rattles that shake in the wind when they dry, summer dreams deep beneath the ice-cold water vernal peepers North Face hikers Canada geese step into the sweetly mown grass path verging along the river drops precarious into the black mud stiff on my cowboy boots as I tumble into tree wind shake the elasticity of the young snakeskin bark tissue high and erect as I stroke my way into a fit between this softness of my palm and the crocodile that rears along the way bits branch out and try to skewer eye poke ear pierce stumble and relax when I give my weight when I give in when I bow into you and past the spears you echo, sway, far-off cars meander through the net of muscle and cambium flexed shaken wind storm memory a scream near the nature center kids spurt tremble the earth and the bridge and the mud on the path where I try to try to try again to try to reach to my childhood, play, to lean, to be all natural, open, to be open to be to be to live to breathe and to be and to cycle through the land and the forest is open is open is alive is try is bridge is memory spur is a spear is an eye and a socket and a yell and a muscle and a bow a bow a weight a tremble a sleep and a dark dark wind and a dark and a bridge and a dark and now it’s too much and it hurts and I feel all the pinch all the pressure all the all the all the all the leave it and let it and drop this and why. So I sit down and write, my palm still tingles with the bark’s rough tongue. [End Page 53]
Poet Drag Kings
Go to the Brown's, buy a Felinfoel and ask for me, they know where I live...
Dylan, you were the life of the party, thirtynine dead in the Chelsea Hotel. You beat your wife that’s mainly what I remember. Some lines of some poems. Richard Burton’s voice. We listen deeper un-know colonial living on old-rock land. [End Page 54]
I have survived you. So has the woman I love, most people I know. Life in the forties. You missed out
on laughter lines, the longer duration.
Drama ebbs wider pools. [End Page 55]
I stand next to myself watch my chemical emotions,
enough time to tick seconds between my tears and me. On these cobblestones, did you count nights you woke with your mouth fuzzy, brain beat with sluice of blood?
The rivers of the night piss beer in the back alley. [End Page 56]
Dylan, we are here. Sip our waters on your unpaid tab.
Liver deltas out coal towns and ovens, dampness of spirit sparks in the summer sun. [End Page 57]
We have survived you. Our hips angled and cushioned, small automatic car, wrinkles feathered into future. Our lines peel our fingertips. [End Page 58]
Every day, I wake up. My jagged hip stems stretch to the side, the cat who longs to get wet, who wants to run along river’s edge, ocean pound, the green fuse drives the flower. [End Page 59]
My hotel bed fingers trail her edges, odalisque in half-light, sleeping dignity calmness and quest. She stretches, I mount, spoon, listen, she smiles.
We part the waters. [End Page 60]
Petra Kuppers is a disability culture activist and a community performance artist at the University of Michigan, and author of PearlStitch (Spuyten Duyvil, 2016), with poems and stories in Drunken Boat, PANK, Sycamore Review, Adrienne, The Future Fire, Beauty is a Verb: New Poetry...