This year I decided not to participate in the poem-a-day challenge for Poetry Month. Because every month has been poetry month for me for the last three years, and forcing myself to write under quantifiable constraints always produces the worst poetry from me. That said, without that pressure, I somehow woke at 6am on a sunny morning in San Francisco with the intense urge to put something down. The only paper within my reach was my grocery list. Here's a little bit of what happened that day...
—Three Excerpts from my Grocery List—
I eat the carousel in my sleep. Horse flesh carries the never-ending pipe organ of whinnies. It is not a sound that subtitles protect. My unborn child will emerge in a society too lazy for words. Her imagination will only be as wide as a movie screen. While my innerchild’s imagination will have the depth of a page. Locked in a book. Every word a hyperlink. Mental. Popping up everywhere before its time. Like a purple gluestick. Twisting in and out. Inside a temple. Outside a theme park. The water I sip in sleep tastes sweeter than holy water.
“I need to add something to my grocery list,” I tell the time traveler. He warns me not to write the secrets of the universe. I will alter the space-time continuum. The first thing I do when I wake up is use the toilet. When I crawl back in bed I find an uncapped pen and the words cadavers galloping into history under my pillow, still warm.
When the toast catches fire, it’s hard to look away. Even when knowing a hundred tons of meteoroids will hit the Earth’s atmosphere today. This happens daily. There’s an art to juggling fire. You put as much thought into it as lightning does to striking. There is a meteoroid as small as the strawberry seeds you roll on your tongue. There is a planet composed entirely of streams of lightning.