‘YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR LIFE’ (a poem)

Posting the poem I wrote yesterday evening, as I’m still in copy-editing mode this morning (having just finished my first pass on a 200-page document)…

  1. ‘You don’t belong here’

No, I didn’t say that to myself

What I was really thinking
was that I didn’t like any of these people

They were all very loud, a little obnoxious
and looked like a bunch of unemployed bike messengers

  1. The spines of the books on the shelves are telling me things—I can sense their disapproval from here

I became very aware of a narrowing in my field of vision

As my restless eye wandered
it settled upon what I could only interpret
as a command

YOU MUST CHANGE YOUR LIFE

How did the author of a book
about the relationship
between Rainer Maria Rilke and Auguste Rodin
know to send this message to me
at a small poetry bookstore
in a West Coast city
on a Friday afternoon
in June?

Either she’s been talking to my therapist
or she knows something
Maybe she’s with the CIA
or the other underground network
that’s been controlling my life
since I was seven…

  1. ‘I hope all your dreams come true’

Sound careens off the car windows
the waves crashing into themselves
all distorted guitars and banshee waif

This would normally clear my head
but tonight it compresses my inner furrowed brow
pushing it deeper into the sense that there are more messages
to come

  1. There’s newspaper on top of the refrigerator

When I get home
the cat
just wants more food in her dish

(16 June 2017—posted June 17th)

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