What It’s Like

This poem is the fruit of three exercises that were failures for me individually. The good bits they did generate came together here.

Shamanism is one of the hardest things for me to write about. I believe that part of the problem is my being a strange journeyer. Most shamans describe incredibly visually vivid journeys; I journey by something more like internal narrative, and actually visualize very little or nothing. I’s probably the same reason I’m much more of a narrative than an imagistic poet.

I have no idea why I seem helpless to keep from associating bees with Darren, but here it is again.

What It’s Like

(for Darren)

The seeds in the rattle hiss and chatter as I tequila-shoot
Tea squeezed from bitter roots that would have been chewed
By a virgin if we hadn’t run clean out of those 30 years ago.
So I sit in the garden alone, knowing you’re reading my lips
As I tell the plants about you and about how I look forward to
This evening after dinner and the on/off pressure of your fingers
Unbuttoning my blouse. Plants understand sex just fine. Have you
Ever seen what they do to the bees that boldly go between their
Parted petals and fondle their pistils? A bee is a flying penis in
Botanical terms. Flowers are getting it on in front of us all summer.
But they don’t understand why I relish waiting-for as much as having-of.
Plants don’t have a word for anticipation. Knowing that is what being me is like.

(2016)

(photo: Wikipedia)

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