To ask a novelist to talk about his novels is like asking somebody to cook about their dancing.
I am but a riverboat–hopelessly in touch
with my inner canoe. On the first day of nursery
school, I cried in mother’s arms. It wasn’t
separation anxiety. I was scared she would
come back. In high school, I was voted most likely
to secede. In college, I took so many drugs
the professors looked at samples of my urine
just to know what books I’d been reading.
I’m a narcissist trapped in the third person.
The sound of my own head being shaved
is my all-time favorite song. I stop people
on the street, show them pictures of myself
as a child, ask have you seen this boy?
He’s been missing a long time. His eyes
are the last swig of whiskey before stumbling
out of a bar on a sunny afternoon. His cheeks
are twirling ballerinas. His cheeks are revolving
doors. I’m all out of cheeks to turn. I’m all
out of cheeks. My ego is a spiral staircase
inside a tornado. My eyebrows are that furry
feeling you get in your gut when you’re about
to tell a lie. My tongue is a dolphin
passed out in an elevator. My tongue is a red carpet
I only roll out for you. My penis is a wise ass
in the back of a classroom who doesn’t know
the answer, but sticks his hand up anyway.
My heart hangs in my chest like a Salem witch.
My heart is a turtle ripped from its shell.
My heart is a street so dark nymphomaniacs
are afraid to kiss. My heart, America, my heart.
The cat hides.
My sister closes his door, mutters
as she walks back down the hall,
lays in bed,
flickers like a candle.
Every window dances. The stars they hold
A Kodiak beer wrestles a silverback gorilla.
And three warthogs.
In a volcano.
On a comet.
Geysers on Jupiter erupt with hot chocolate,
the hot chocolate freezes in the icy yawn of space,
galaxies of new chocolate planets are born.
Autumn runs through thin black trees,
its arms outstretched.
A man inside a man’s head
plays golf on the sun.
Welcome… to Jurassic Park!
Our house opens its palms,
holds the night like a dying blackbird.
Children sit in lawn-chairs, wrapped in blankets,
drinking Coke through straws,
watching sparks twirl in the second story window.
A green feather rises
into the sky
Burglars choose a different house.
A man sleeps.
He dreams of whales spinning
through an ocean of sawdust.
His children are safe.
"Do all dudes have one big testicle and one little tiny one?"
Hieronymus asked, hiking up his poodle skirt as we staggered
Down Main Street in our getup of wigs and pink bonnets
The Night we sprayed NEGROPHOBIA all over the statue of Robert
E. Lee guarding the county courthouse, a symbol of the bondage
We had spent all of our All-The-Way Lives trying to subvert.
Hieronymus’s thighs shimmered like the wings of a teenage
Cockroach beneath his skirt as a bullhorn of sheriff verbs
Like Stop! Freeze! and Fire! outlined us. The town was outraged:
The red-blooded farm boys, the red-eyed book worms of Harvard,
The housewives and secretaries, even a few liberals hoorayed
When they put us on trial. We were still wearing our lady ward–
Robes, Hieronymus and me, with our rope burns bandaged
And our wigs tilted at the angle of trouble. Everyone was at war
With what it meant to be alive. That’s why we refused to be banished,
And why when they set us on fire, there was light at our core.