Sunday, March 06, 2011

Jack-in-the-box
for D.B.A.

it is the same complaint you see
stuff I’ve stated well before
more than once before

wake up with this poem
with its perfect lines
going on, going round in my head
repeated and repeated

order of its lines,
alternating in my head
is one thing, one state, one place

lying awake, dreaming
well rested or somewhat

attached to pen though
pen attached to paper
to notebook page

though the ink on the page
is like a vehicle's rubber tires
attached to a tarred road,

as it passes, as it crosses

the pen, its ball point, rises and falls
bounces and skips
like a stone across water
like a ball, like a heart beats
up and down, hopping

clown at a circus, hopping,
on one foot and then on the other
audience to entertain

the heart beats, blood flows
clock ticks and time flows

Hemingway, upon the battle field,
injured, bleeding, dying,

blood flowing from him along with life
he said was like a silk handkerchief
being pulled out of a breast pocket

she puts me, pushes me
places me beneath her boyfriends
like jack-in-the box
whether I fit or not

forces me to fit where I do not fit
where I do not belong

in a tin with a lid
but I keep popping out
with the noises I make
with all my protestations

in response to her
inappropriate treatment

mistreatment, payment
for doing what a man does
what a man can

wanting what a man wants
needing what a man needs

I get less than what boys get
wonder what they do get
what they are allowed
that I am not

I am hardly allowed air
bread and water
a prisoner is allowed
she is reluctant to give
reluctant to serve me
reluctant to save me

love-stricken, love struck
in love stuck, with her stuck
but she can just watch me die
like Gabriel García Márquez’
old man with enormous wings

similarly treated
similarly assumed to be
from heaven fallen
or from hell, catapulted up

she does not seem to think
I need loving, required of her

the order of love I give
I shower her with

I am a fire
she needs shove no wood in
add no fuel to

throws whatever on it, wet rag
wet leaves

what does she care
if this love lives or dies

important though that its flames
do not leap higher than those
of affairs of boyfriends

man mixed up in
small children’s concerns
in the dolly house
or dolly houses
of love

how am I to fit in
relegated to what
she relegates me to

can she stuffs me in
I without end pop out
poems like fire works
without end going off
unable to help exploding
complaining, being angry

heaven, fix this
you, who else,
has me in such a fix
in such a flux
in such a fit
in such an outfit


© Obediah Michael Smith, 2011
1:40 p.m. 05.03.11

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