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A Farthing, Furling

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A Farthing, Furling

I’m here to offer you a detailed list of my failures.

I wanted to write a poem about ruin.





About admitting to wanting to ruin you.

It was going to be gritty and lovely.

A specific vision of the actual conversation:

I want to be the heroic leaver.

I want to be convinced to stay.

I wanted to write a poem about an invention of mine:

A character, only half fictional.
A poem about how he’s that kind of guy.

The kind who plans calls to extended family,
Times them perfectly between holidays and birthdays so he’s only got to do it once a year.

I wanted to write a poem about the ten ways the world might end.
1)
fire
2)
wrapped in my desire
3)
the world turns softly until it gives up because it’s tired of people asking it to “please speak up”
4)
we all go mad concentrating too hard because, somehow, we’ve all convinced ourselves we can feel the world spinning us.
5)
rivers of bruises
6)
the whole world noticed its breathing for the first time and then couldn’t stop. couldn’t stop telling themselves to breathe in and release. couldn’t find the natural rhythm of unconsciousness again.
7)
hell bent in on itself— raven-colored taffy whirling, expanding.
8)
everyone starts worrying about all the things I obsess about and suddenly everything stops because it’s too much.
9)
someone realizes he dreamt us all up.
10)
it doesn’t. but it becomes something so entirely other that we have to re-name it.

Is furl a word?

Because I wanted to write a poem about bodies




and the opposite of unfurling.
About being pigeon toe,


about wanting to curl forever inward.

I wanted to write these poems,
but I don’t believe in ambition.

Or, rather, I’m afraid of it.
So these poems have stayed concepts.
I’m worried they’re purer that way.

The poem I’ve never tried to write
details my deepest desire.
Such singularity in motive.


Too much vulnerability.
There are pieces of me that want to grow, and

others, still, that want to escape my restraint and


start a life of their own.
There are some parts, even, that I find myself wishing for,

hoping they might assert themselves.
But they don’t ever seem to.




Or I just don’t notice until it’s too late for all of us.



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