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correspondence with a poet friend, #5

June 25, 2010


What a fascinating place you live!
Women stand still like old trees.
Yellow tape draws attention to
our crimes and our dead.
Men take chain saws to their troubles.
When I hear the audience there
runs away if the artist is no longer
passive, I want to tell her:
Follow them to their homes.
Invade their stages. Open them up
on their mattresses, their luxury
pillow-top gurneys.

The scalpel changes hands there
often, doesn’t it? The surgeon
gives it to the patient, says, Here.
Do me next.
While I’m under,
while I trust you, extract the red
object from my chest. Drop it
into a cooler of ice. The transplant team
will want my skin, too, and my eyes.
Carry pieces of me by helicopter
to someone who wants them.
If they believe the grafts will take,
maybe they’re right.

Are bargains like this negotiated
every day where you live? Be careful:
they’ll try to strip you
of your words.



Here are the letters that lead up to this one:
Beth to Carolee, June 11
Carolee to Beth, June 12
Beth to Carolee, June 13
Carolee to Beth, June 15
Beth to Carolee, June 16
Carolee to Beth, June 18
Beth to Carolee, June 20
Carolee to Beth, June 22
Beth to Carolee, June 24

  1. June 25, 2010 7:38 am

    I don’t mind a bit where this went. I love it.

    “Open them up
    on their mattresses, their luxury
    pillow-top gurneys. ”

    Totally hot. Interesting where this whole getting-inside-of-people thing has gone, how it can be silent or violent and messy, how hard it is to tell when it’s a punishment and when it is life-saving… just some of the things this series has me thinking about. I’ll save the rest for my response. 🙂

  2. June 29, 2010 12:50 am

    This one is very powerful.

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