I dreamed of a very short person, flailing, asking me if I knew Brutus. Yes, I said, yes, yes I knew Brutus. Et tu Brute, and all that, chewed forever in the second mouth of Satan. Yes, yes, I did. Brutus and I were familiar. The short person, neither man nor woman, older than young but not old, dark haired, flailed wilder and screamed, No, no. No. You do not know Brutus. Not that Brutus. You do not know.
Now, of course, waking, I worry about twenty-three stab wounds on the Senate steps. I worry about most of them finding mark in my spine. I worry about not being hero enough for my bloody back to be counted a travesty. I worry about cruel gravity pulling me into the arms of a son or daughter metaphorical who I failed to acknowledge in real life, and trading betrayal for betrayal with my child by each other’s sticky, dilating eyes.
“My poor world!” I want to say, as I sit here surrounded by abundance. We’re poor until we aren’t and then sitting in a room full of gold like Scrooge’s Money Bin we wonder why the gold isn’t at least one foot deeper so we could move our diving board one foot higher and get that extra adrenaline rush as we free-fall further into the abundance for which we are never quite grateful enough.
We hit the pile of gold like a ton of bricks (Family Guy did a cutaway about that— great minds…). We aren’t made of feathers like Scrooge McDuck, so we platz and break all our bones when we intended to dive in and swim through, sensuously.
There is this riddle about what weighs more:
a pound of gold or a pound of feathers. A pound is a pound unless you’re talking about the pound of flesh that hit the unforgiving gold.
I forgive you for being a pompous Windbag and using words like “nexus” That make us, and you, feel smarter Than we are. I forgive you because You’ve got to sell windy books Somehow to equally windy people And breezily walk the edge of Overblowing it without, oops, I Overblew it! You had to prevent us Muffy and Buffy poetry reader Types from seeing too much of Ourselves at that blustery “Nexus” of blew and blow And putting the book down And closing our handbag flaps And whistling as we walk away.
My wine glass is a coffee mug with handsome Houdini painted on, tied up, cuffed, dipped upside down in cold water. He’s got a face like he’s sure he’ll get free, like if he doesn’t, he’s sure he’s at least immortal enough to be reborn one day on a mug in the next millennium.
Houdini’s wine mug is tricky. You pour the cheap stuff in behind the antique-colored, faux posters, and the wiry escapist slips his bonds without a twitch.
Or, to be more accurate, the bonds slip him. The handcuffs disappear, the straight jacket undoes, the lung-crushing water drains into the polished black scrim that works the inside of the cup, into the pulse-lulling red that sloshes behind it.
The bonds dissipate, almost, and slink their way down my esophagus— a rain of deconstructive intoxicants to ensnare the presto hands and abracadabra body of the guilt I carry, at the bottom
I’ve had almonds today and chocolate and dried cranberries and French press coffee and a bit of a ham sandwich and real butter on real bread. All signs point to the blissful Elsewhere being right here in my cabinet with the chocolate
and nuts. Swimming around in the French press before being all smashed to bitter oil and wakefulness. Shivering in the fridge in an off-brand baggie. Baked in an industrial oven. Treading lukewarm water in the blue porcelain butter keeper.