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  • On Closed Systems
  • Jillian Weise (bio)

I write to figure outclosed systems

since the doc saysI'm becoming one

and I can't find Colleenonline tonight.

Can't tell where I endand I machine tonight.

Here's the carpentercome to fix the rot.

Here's the hammerready-to-hand.

If the grip breakswhat's the hammer?

The leg w/allits accessories—

a spray bottlea button to push

the air out—unreadies me.

Is this very sexy?No, it is not. [End Page 27]

Did the hammer work?It fixed the rot.


I'm worried I lost you.I'm worried you are a personwho does not seal into legdoes not spray herselfwith alcohol and waterdoes not beep erratically.You are a person whonever dies on yourself.And I swore I wasn'tgoing to teach you anythingwhen I started this poem.I want this poem to befor us for cyborgs b/call the other poems fromall the other centuriesare for you.


Some directions.

  1. 1. Get yourself a person (not your mom) through any means necessary. Tinder is fine. Grindr is fine. This person should be available for doc appointments.

  2. 2. You are thinking of the person from work and I'm sorry: not that person.

  3. 3. This person could be the one you're already with as long as you still sleep with him/her/them. Must be a person with whom you have relations. Person with whom you put on and take off clothes. Put on and take off goals.

  4. 4. Choose your person wisely. Pick a submissive. Can't have both of you saying, "What do you want?" "No, what do you want?" [End Page 28]


Entire days pass whereI'm searchingfor the poet who's already

said this. Or who willblow the shofarin W. C. Williams's ear?

You can put it downas a general rulethat when a poet

begins to devote himselfto the subject matterof his poems

he has come to an endof his poetic means("The Poem as a Field

of Action"). Dear Williams,Dear Very Dead Doctor,Stop taunting me.

For you have been the authoritylong enough.For you have cruised

the hospitals and highwaysfor you have twaddled usfor you have thunk

"I don't know whatto write about" and putElsie on and took Elsie off.

For you have been in lovew/your patients.For you have your lips

on my ear, constantly,like now, 12:15 a.m., Tuesday.I'm driving the car. [End Page 29]

The archives are full of you,full of doctors.Once a colleague said to me:

"I'm making an anthologyof all the poems writtenby doctors and

we will go to the hospitaland read the poemsto the patients."

There's always someoneinventing a new hell for us.


Or how should I put it?I'm worried the lyricis insufficient. Meanwhileacross town, GeorgePickering's son is on lifesupport at the TomballRegional Medical Center.A massive stroke.George is not invitedto the meeting in the doc'soffice b/c George isoften drunk and difficult(so The Daily Mail reports).They order "terminalweaning," which ishow the docs say"Poor baby, no morebreath for you forever."Then George runs indrunk with his gun.Someone is shouting.The nurse backs away."Squeeze my hand,"George says to his son.And get this: the son does. [End Page 30] He's not dead enough.He's not even dying.


Other days I can mostly hidemyself from others.

Be a field of action.When I was 18 and living in NYC

I had a friend named Patrick.We hung out at his apartment

on Broadway and 103rd. One nighthe took a call and I read his journal.

"She talks about it way too much."Of course, I knew what he meant.

I stopped for years.I had to become someone else,

Elsie, or else. But what...


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pp. 27-32
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