March 20, 2010
Collage Of All 348 Of My Failed Loves Combined Into One Meditation Loosely Located In Gate’s Pass Concerning A Sunset And Its Vague Relationship To My Relationships But Also Dreams And An Angel
For Mayakovsky’s Immortal Soul
At night when my lover is warm in bed I take out a pen
from our little nightstand and begin a portrait. First I sketch
the contours of my lover’s body, from line to line to line
her skin gets into mine and I become paralyzed with proximity.
Trembling, I start over
sketching her across a moving blue valley. O.K
so it could either be a field or a large lake. She’s picking flowers
and apples from the one eyed midget’s orchard. She’s growing
older and beautiful, like an escalator blanketed in roses
she delivers my body up to our bed and raises her head
just high enough for my arm to fit in, her hair the sweetest
aborted abortion, and I thank her mother for choosing her hair tickles
on my nose (although I see how it could’ve gone otherwise and can’t
say that I wouldn’t be thanking another mother for another her).
Quickly, her hair and the midget’s face escort me into sleep.
We all collide in a dream. All of my blood paints the debris.
I am thinking beasts do the same. I am thinking about God
and popular sitcoms. God, God and popular sitcoms in a pool
of my blood, can you imagine, I am also thinking about black coffee
and cold work, but because I have yet to think, I am living in a deep sleep.
Across the valley, my lover is climbing the mountain.
I scream and flail wildly Stop!, but she’s got a llama
and a military pack cascading down her back
and past her ass with apples. My canoe is broke
and I’m desperately trapped, but there is some light left
eating away at the western ridge. It’s pathetic, but listen
man, she is an angel
statue that’s been swept to sea from a Greek archipelago.
No, don’t imagine. There has got to be some light
to govern the meaning in the future history of dreams.
In the center of Gate’s pass the cliffs unfold when I brake
to a stop and ask my partner— is this not forever,
the sky’s descent? It’s selfish. She’s silent. We both know
the sky’s tyranny is its purity
and that’s ominously got something to obviously do with love.
Look at me, I’m all ribs!!
and my skin is loosely stretched canvas stripped of its color,
but she makes meaning out of skeletons. She’s good at it,
she is always busy making things with her plump fingers,
these words so beautiful until she starts to think –
the words that never speak are criminally obese
but we tend to make meaning minus speech, minus bones,
we tear the hot off the sun as if crust from green bread
because we think we starve, we are starving
and from time to time when I see her moving
I lose what it was I was supposed to say,
I forget to breathe.
Jake Levine is an MFA candidate in poetry at the University of Arizona, where he was awarded a Warnock Fellowship, Hattie Locket Prize, Intro Award, and Foundation Award for his poesy. He is also an instructor of poetry and composition at the University of Arizona and won the Johnnie Raye Harper teaching award. He is Editor-In-Chief of Sonora Review, on the board of directors at POG (poetry in action), on the Tucson Festival Of Books Poetry Committee, is the founder and curator of The Aural Pleasure Party and Poetry Fuckfest reading series, and is a poetry editor at SPORK. He lives and loves Tucson, AZ. His poetry has appeared in Stretching Panties and he has forthcoming work in Retort.