Tag Archives: consciousness

Godzilla’s revenge, or, self-portrait on a t-shirt

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Godzilla’s revenge, or, self-portrait on a t-shirt

Morning after a rain, baby crickets fling themselves out of the grass,
like someone told them they have to jump upstream

recklessly to spawn. I’m sure placing my lame dog
on the grass to pee that I have crushed thousands of them.

I always felt Godzilla had no burden of guilt for the sweep
of his tail when trying to get around in the city. The crickets

can be so loud in the back yard that when I lay awake
at 1 a.m. trying to sleep I can barely hear the two churches

compete to toll the hour through the open second floor window.
We live on a hill. When the rain came last night I ran outside

and pointed my phone’s flashlight along the edge of the road.
It takes a few minutes in a hard rain but the water flow that starts

at the top of the hill winds its way to my street and passes
my house, first as a trickle, then a rivulet, then river then

a torrent that leaps the sidewalk and takes up a third
of the street. I like to see that first movement of water

before I go back inside. In the morning dozens
of businesses have been flooded. A police car floating like a lily

in the intersection by the bakery. It’s a hot and dry day.
Gravel and dirt are spread over the streets like the

footprints of a giant monster with no memory it was here.

Sestina, with Christmas Lights [from Vanishing Tracks]

Sestina, with Christmas Lights [from Vanishing Tracks]

Through the graves of trees comes a quiet that is almost conscious.
A memory in search of its strength, like blood racing to the heart
To be replenished with oxygen. In that quiet is our quick
Reinvention, and we have forgotten already who we were, what our stories
Were about, in the way that the clump of unplugged Christmas lights
Has nothing to do with Christmas. I had a similar feeling in a hotel

Once, where I did not recognize my story as being set in a hotel
But there I was. I was home in a way I was not even conscious
Of acknowledging, as Christmas is not acknowledged by Christmas lights
But by acknowledging the birth of something brand new in our hearts
That just might save us if we can forget all the stories
That have come before it, if our sense of eternity’s quick

Enough to follow tracks time’s flurries are so quick
To fill. It’s too cold outside: back to memory’s mansion or is it a hotel
Of the same room comfortably over and over, the same stories
In generic bedrooms we’re nearly content in without us being conscious
Of not having slept there before? The past is leading my heart
To a place the past cannot be, but like one short in Christmas lights

May darken an entire string, most of which would still light if the Christmas lights
Were wired differently. But we can’t change the way we’re wired or how quick
Darkness in one triggers a darkness in many. Right now your heart
Just pumped a liter of blood in one beat, like checkout time at a hotel
Where everybody knows they’re coming back but are conscious
They will get a different room that will be familiar as the stories

They grew up with are different from the stories
They tell. And still nobody has invented better Christmas lights.
When I speak to my mother about Christmas she is no longer conscious
Of memory as memory, it is the tree her speech lands on like the quick
Accumulation of snow on branches. It is like she is wandering in a hotel
Where her key opens every door and every room touches her heart

Though she’s no longer talking about Christmas. I don’t have the heart
To correct her, or maybe I have heart enough to know her stories
Are closer to being correct, they’re all there in the same hotel
Like a convention of amnesiacs, and either the Christmas lights
Are lit or they are not, but their keys fit all the doors now, and quick
As a wink there’s a mint beside the bed of all that is conscious.

Boxing up ornaments and taking down the tree, the family was suddenly conscious
Of disconcerted movement: two weeks in warmth, and hatched hungry to the quick,
Hundreds of praying mantis glittered like unexpected Christmas lights.