Friday, January 27, 2012

Hugh Behm-Steinberg

Feral Parrots 

Were they expecting the tropics, were they born with other musics to which they make do with the local instruments?  Or do they say it’s better here, no jaguars to climb after us, and the monkeys here consider us cute.  Or do they practice, so that at night when we hear the word cracker, over and over, and sweetie, and hi there, and the sound of car alarms, the sound of the baby monitor, we hear the ocean and we’re nowhere near the beach, we pull up our curtains and they seduce their caged counterparts?  Helloooo?  Helloooo?  Dusk birds, the fullness of them, loudly calling out.  Not condemned, marvelous.


The Pronouns
When I was younger I was so liberal with my pronouns, characters would rise up like ant infestations; I would leave the sugar out, it didn’t matter, I’d go to sleep in honey and there’d be hundreds taking little bites out of me.  The pronouns would grow wings, I’d let them out, they’d come back with their lovers and families and I’d let them, I’d let them sleep in my house, if I had a house for them to sleep in.  I didn’t mind because; I was the only one in the house, if I had a house, I didn’t have you in my life yet.  Like black snow the pronouns eventually darkened me.  I’d like to say this is a parable but I got so fucked up back then.  May you stay you.


Spring, Shoes Left in the Hall (I’m Sorry) 

Who is your mud, the people who can’t sleep have to walk in it, so you like it and you’re laughing.  Wilderness!  Nice trees give you away, you give them away in turn.  Layers, some secret books, saying this and this and how you flatten and how your hand slips in.  Fills, evens, act collectively, freely, the parts of you without roads, the light above those parts.  Be with, be unshattered, unsleeping, take a long nap, all gardens lost in snow, all gardens tugging the ghosts out of you, calming the tulip bulbs and telling them when they have to act, treated well, gladly, you will never be without love in your life, even when you track dirt all over the place.  May I always remember to pick up my shoes.


All You Healthy Motherfuckers
Because you never had a before, or a body that wasn’t right, so you’re confident, it’s all going to go right so you don’t or didn’t have to think about it, didn’t have to think, always rightmaking assertions, just need a positive attitude and get more sleep, maybe you’ll feel better when you eat more ayurvedic herbs.  A raft out there you don’t have to rescue, a flickering out there, say it, try it on, roll it around in your throat, maybe it’ll be your turn to hold a chromium hubcap you’ll pour all of your credit into; you think you’ll be able to take it with dignity, without really suffering or you won’t have to experience the way the blue cross employees leered at my wife when she and thirteen other sick people marched.  I want to see your secrets get fucked with for awhile, see you wake up damp and eager to give your money and your body away to anyone who’d take care of you, who you can afford, your body like a door, like a revolving door, like a revolving door that turn by turn gives all your power away. 


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