Micah Zevin: Two Poems from The Future

Personification: Extinction Chronicles

Can we make more happen than burning to the ground
and tears?

Become a disappearing collection in the noble library of
noble thoughts and concepts shelved.

Have you ever said you’ve run out of yourself?

The ego is a regal thing but has no crown.

I am in a rush not to slip into slush on my way to the train
and then the bus.

Are we all repelled by the no longer fresh pond like we should be?

We should become the dragonfly sipping the sweetness of our soda.

The paradise of the aquarium and all its colors are in danger.

We are the fish running out of bubbles to breathe.

I’m tired of the wretched and the vile garbage pile left
for the stray animals to scavenge and be poisoned.

I will become a hologram of a dog, a cat or a giraffe
and then go on the hunt for predator or prey.

Can we fake more than ego filled statistics that say
we love you and you and you and not that you vanished
one day under the swamps of decay from which you
came …

There are men and women with black eyes
and in wheelchairs
sleeping on tables and floors in
corners with plastic bags of vodka in hand
gulps accompanied by vile smells of death.

Are you in a desperate state?—Can you fix the broken
record?—Can you recognize yourself in the mirror
before you are slumped over, before the EMTs arrive,
before your pets walk on their hind legs and take you home—

 

Ode to the mythology that life is a simulation so nothing really matters or everything is as real as your paranoia or that you allow it to be

I

I am a splintered wooden desk
You are sharp and easily broken
I am a dream but see you sleeping
In your morning bowl of oatmeal
Your soft scrambled eggs
Your cornflakes with almond milk
Soggy from sitting in its own juices
I am not here here
I am the square peg in the triangular hole
I am a projection of mind and body
Onto astral mucous filled brain
This is not the Matrix or Halo
Or Quest For Fire
This is about desire
Mired in the details
Of our ailments
Without access to the
Healing ointments
I will try to tell you the
Story about a small curly
Headed boy who was told
He would never be happy
That there is no such thing
In a bird sanctuary
In Jamaica Bay, Queens.

 

II

Your bosses and bosses bosses
Are out to psyche you
Out,
Pointing fingers
Laying blame,
Knifing you with tone
Parsing words
Coaxing voices in
Your head coffin
Into downward spiral
Staircases
Forever
Going in circles
Never ever
Kerplat sounds
Just fresh
Rotting mornings
People work, people!
Humorless or jokers
Crazy direct or
Truth smellers
Dangling their carrots
Of wisdom
Perception
And deception
Not saying nothing
Really matters
Or that it matters too much
You are being followed
Listened to
You are eavesdropping
Or trying to
It’s a sabotage
Its a mirage
You are melting
On sun drenched
Rooftops
You are made of salt
And laptops
And hard drives
Portable
Your in a mall
It’s spring
Your shadow steps
Alone and not alone
Perfumed, sneezing
Aiming to be pleasing
You are folding yourself
Up on the inside
You think you have no
Control
You are dying
You are sweat and mucous
And numbers
And superhero worship
Unattainable
The news is the news is
The news
You are not the news
You are computer glitch
You are anxiety
You are never free
Unless playing
A character
on a candid camera
You are your own
Puppet or
Someone else’s
You are a black matted pen
Scripting yourself
Into dependence
Not to depend
You want to be
Bird and plane
Unable to tell
If trapped in the
Mainframe

 

 

***

Micah Zevin is a librarian poet living in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, with his wife, a playwright. He has recently published articles and poems at The Otter, Newtown Literary Journal and Blog, Poetry and Politics, Reality Beach, Jokes Review, Post (Blank), American Journal of Poetry, and The Tower Journal. He created/curates an open mic/poetry prompt workshop called The Risk of Discovery Reading Series now at Blue Cups.

Image: notes.kateva.org

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