Poems: “Visions at 22,” “Oprah is an Augur,” “Growth”

Visions at 22
An old man in a classroom
told me that sleep is a way
to prepare for death in life.
But I’ve never been good
at sleeping and I prefer
to dream while I walk.
Perhaps that’s why I failed
his class, but I don’t want
to practice the science of dying when
I’m still learning the art of living.
Why close the lid on the day
when I can put it on my desk
and fill it with ink stains
and things I left unsaid in the sunlight?
Why lie still when
Neil Young can still write songs about me?
I’m not losing my chance now
that Ziggy’s turned into stardust.
If I must learn to die
I will do so with my eyes open
and smoke in my lungs
and Osbourne on the radio.
I will do so outside of a bed.
Oprah is an Augur
Taste a good fortune
cookie and distinguish
paper from honey
Cut your throat
with a rainbow trout
the room will curdle
a color of nectar
Drink foam from a shoe
before carnivores come
you may sleep
deep as royalty
Hive between rock
in a bowl of whale bone
with one “I” up
crowded come and go
and so another hug
holds back the descendant
foot from the precipice
unsure if I can say I need
the chance to fall far from home
shattering a grandiose expxectation
Life like cancer of love
I manage on your Harvard credentials
the hardships of your life before me
sustains the imagination of a non-coddled
opportunity to be someone
you would have to fight to be proud of
If I went to prison it would be for forgetfulness
but I would love for you to see me
from a glass phone booth
a little worse than simply “so nice.”


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