Tuesday, February 1, 2011

snackless at midnight

On October 3, 1849, Poe was found on the streets of Baltimore delirious, "in great distress, and... in need of immediate assistance", according to the man who found him, Joseph W. Walker. He was taken to the Washington College Hospital, where he died on Sunday, October 7, 1849, at 5:00 in the morning. Poe was never coherent long enough to explain how he came to be in his dire condition, and, oddly, was wearing clothes that were not his own: a stained faded, old bombazine coat, pantaloons of a similar character, a pair of worn-out shoes run down at the heels, and an old straw hat. Poe is said to have repeatedly called out the name "Reynolds" on the night before his death, though it is unclear to whom he was referring.

i put my shirt on

right arm first

the only way i can

button it almost up

all thumbs and blood-crusted fingernails

deeper thoughts than what tie to wear

are jailed away

soundly for sounding absurd

all the thoughts i thought were priced to sell

as is

no refunds

tucked under a tag’s inhibitions

chased out to dry

playing for keeps

just a runnel’s spouting off

plumbago skies

higher than above

riskier than taking


what’s a good bet of what’s left

not half of plenty

times two

timing you

under the weather’s raft

left for alive

just a hole drilled through emptiness

just ten years to go

just ten years ago

rustling about in the hatpins and shiny things of eye-light

get this take-this-hand out of my mind


get by

there are lightning bugs in my better half

free enough to last until the dark goes out

words sipped from the lip of a dew-filled leaf

make might-have-beens go wrong

one-wayed and looked over

fumbling about in the rusted belt buckles and the wood umbrella stems

of my outside-in personality

dreaming of whatever else will do

when dreams do anything but

i was or am happy here


a hank of worry

tilled lay over

or soak if

last one in the water’s a hog

or me accosted

whammed out of existing

there or streaky or opting out

valentining or a dud

wind or bragged about

be octoberly in the crushed leaves

i could’ve cured your care

studies show

that sentences don’t always finish

starting out

lured into a supper of tears


beer-legs rubbered and gumming a plug

meal’s over while


insolvent to a wish’s secondhand suit

besting it and almost bet against

but for now just hell-bent

for something and nothing


and more of and more of

nothing never more