I was always misplacing my keys.
She was always finding them
and then would scold me
for being absentminded.
I would put away the dishes
but could never find my cereal bowl
or the small paring knife.
What happened to my German beer stein?
Only the silhouettes drawn on corkwood
remain of my tools in the shed,
something always missing or reappearing.
My new tennis shoes would tear their soles
after a few months. I would switch brands
and those new tennis shoes would tear at the sole.
The lining inside all of my jackets detached.
The bottom of all my jeans and pants frayed.
My dress shirts are missing buttons.
Some of my shirts have mismatched buttons.
My garden hose would uncoil. I would coil
my garden hose and then find the hose uncoiled.
The pool began missing the decorative tile
around the edges. I would get the bucket
of extra tiles and meticulously glue the tile back on
along the top edge of the pool and the next morning
the tile would be broken or floating at the bottom
of the pool. My clocks are behind by nine minutes.
I thought I had almost 3000 songs on iTunes
and now I only have 1780 songs. I had to add
Jamiroquai back into my digital library, twice.
My car was constantly out of gas. I bought
a notebook to keep track of the gas in the car
and the mileage and then I never seemed
to have a pen in the car to write anything down
and then finally the notebook just disappeared.
All my radio frequencies are adjusted by one
to a slurred static. My clocks are all ahead
by seven minutes. The wind chimes hang
directly in front of the sliding glass door.
I move them to the other side of the porch
and then I slide open the door and
walk right into the wind chimes.
I had a box full of shotgun shells.
She said we first met in Physics class in Cincinnati
but I was certain the class was Nanotechnologies
when I was already at Cornell and I remembered
because of being winded climbing all those hills
and we agreed about the hills but in Cincinnati
and she laughed and told our guests over dinner
that I had so many textbooks, I would push them
around in a perambulator and once they got away
from me and caused a wreck downhill involving a kid
on a trike and a SUV and I stiffened and said no
that actually happened to Jim and I turned to look
at the picture of Jim on the mantelshelf but I saw
a picture of John Glenn holding his helmet instead.
I asked what happened to Jim? She whispered Jim
was our nephew who worked as a bicycle messenger
for a famous couturier in New York. Got killed
by a taxi. Jim, she said, not the garment maker.
I thought Jim was our son who got his Big Wheel
stuck in gravel in the sun and could not, he could not,
but by then she was telling the story of how we met
in Physics class and how my left hand always smelled
like ejaculate because the only time I had to masturbate
was the hour before studying in the quad and I said
how could you tell a story like that and she laughed
and said our guests loved how she made me sound
sophisticate. My watch was no longer on the dresser.
She doesn’t know I am building my own cesium
device in the basement but as I took off my shirt
I noticed how my left arm was darker than the right
and I wondered aloud and she said from the trip
to the Petrified Forest and I asked what trip and she
said don’t you recall? Every driver in Los Angeles
sticks their elbows out the window and I pictured
all those elbows sticking out the driver’s side window
in the highways of the world tanning tanner by the minute.
I said I have to go downstairs and she said, John Titor,
have you fixed the year 2038 problem? And my angina
constricted and I reached for the nitroglycerin and, as I
casually mention, I am researching time travel with two
problems, and I have to stop and concentrate and count
and remember not to overdose on the vasodilators
and I heard her praying to Abraxas, her god Abraxas,
if the Pleroma were capable of having a being,
Abraxas would be the manifestation. S=K. log W.
a cetacean carcass will provide nourishment
to a complex ecosystem for decades to come.
The cats ate her eyes first.
Her hair was composed of thiotimoline
and began dissolving before I could wash her body
with no way to control the endochronicity.
She hid the cutchtree I planted in the backyard.
I know she did.
she thought to eat my thought-stone
and impregnate me.
But I folded my prions,
I folded my prions and,
by the time I was found,
I shook with the cold and kuru
This one really twists, I identify with many of the frustrating glitches of life in the first part. The second part is half that Twilight Zone episode about ‘Little Pink Houses’ or something where the wife notices things always slightly off until her husband is replaced with a better model…inspired she goes out only to realize she will never find which of the almost right but slightly wrong houses are hers; and the classic Time Machine. The last part is pure scifi. Throughout there was a feeling similar to Bladerunner, but for some reason The Fountain also flashed up in my mind.
Poem is inspired by the George Cukor film, Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman. But the term gaslighting has been used by the psychiatric community to denote a form of paranoia. Also, the Church of Scientology uses gaslighting and gang stalking putatively to try to drive their enemies crazy or at least to make them question their own sanity.
I saw the film once, and there was an underground noir culture that went by the name that my firat spouse was a fan of…think Mickey Spillane with more Casablanca and Maltese Falcon type romance. I co-wrote a character series briefly for an independent publication, series was called Max Damage, but fools that we were, we didn’t copyright the characters themselves, and the main was stolen by someone who did, and made it into a gratuitously violent one. I don’t know if you know Dan Leo on FB, he is the king of noir, I enjoy his posts, collections and articles. The psychiatric term I am also familiar with, but heard it first from my speech and debate coach as a texhnique used in propaganda and also in debates, and in courtroom showmanship. Scientology I have nothing good to say about, so will not bother going off about the insidious evil I consider them to orchestrate.
Good gravy, I need an honest to goodness computer again, or atleast a spell check feature that is not as erratic as Autocorrect!