Claws Long Sunk

I been tossing in my head

I been talking in my bed

When I gaze inward, it’s an alien landscape I see

Peopled with VERY OTHER MEs

The OTHER-MEs pounce, they strike like snakes

I flex until my muscles shake: little self-inflicted seizure

My kingdom for a good case of amnesia when flashbacks race

Like fast-action skits on the silver screen. I can’t keep pace with the voices,

The voices.

Sometimes one, sometimes a chorus,

Sometimes the background din of a bar or restaurant, sometimes a COMMAND

Nevermind whether the voices influence my choices; I maintain,

And it’s not like they’re telling me to burn down the church,

Though that may be what you’d think

That’s the stigma right there, perched on your shoulder, but I know the dull sting

Of claws long-sunk into one’s shoulder. Of the dark bird Nevermoring in the ear.

I am.

Clinging to stability, cleaving to the received to the exclusion of, say,

Conspiracy theory,

But I recall when old rainbow-hat and his happy-ass, tab-a-day-eating anarchist friends up in the mountains convinced me psychically that property laws were no more, that I could own whatever land I squatted on, every house up for grabs but most already taken, so I selected a vacant building in an optimal location, moved in and set up shop,

And I recall the, like, Navajo pattern of light that hung across my vision when I was in the joint. How they were arranging to bail me out and would arrive any minute and I’d be free!

Yeah, I remember not being free. And I remember the streets. Where are you sleeping?

Beside a big rock under a tree in that wood over there.

Blankets stashed in plastic bags in that wood over there.

What wood?


The people you’d meet, like that little crew with the punk rock kid tagging along and his girlfriend who every once in a while would reach out and hurt him, like elbow him in the nuts or just pinch and twist. The rest of them. The quiet black kid with too-good shoes. The overweight ringleader wanting to rap to me about politics. No thanks.

Let’s talk God.



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