Process of Elimination

Process of Elimination


Bang, you’re dead.


Every day people recognize me and call me by my name.
Every day people say to me “I knew you’d say that, feel that, think that.”
Every day people remember the directions to their own houses.
Every day people understand that they are allergic to shellfish.
Every day people stop themselves from making the same mistake twice.
Every day people communicate with each other.

Every day I’m surprised to find that I can control what my hands do.
Every day I meet someone to only have met them before.
Every day I drink, smoke, and eat foods that are bad for me.
Every day I try to define a wordless word.
Every day I apologize sheepishly for something a literal sheep would do.
Every evening I open my eyes and the world is the same way I left it.


Walking down Shattuck, I saw
a dog trapped inside a ballroom.
The window glass was scratched.
I tried the only door. It was locked.
I left because I was very tired.
Meanwhile there is a dog in a ballroom
pacing the ugly carpet nervously
about her chances of getting out.
People are looking in at the dog trapped
in a ballroom. She is looking out, nose
against the glass. The room is empty.
On my way home I saw two people
at the BART station sleeping standing up.


Lately I haven’t been wearing makeup.
Lately I’ve been looking tired and upset.
Do I not put on makeup when I’m tired and upset
Or is that my natural state of being, tired and upset?

I once saw Matthew Sherling read poetry on a stage,
and at a party later that night asked him if he writes.
I once saw Brad Warner play himself in a movie,
and at a party later that night asked him if he’s a Buddhist.

I am trying to give myself a method of vanishing cues
so that my existence does not turn bat-like,
bouncing sounds off of solid shapes,
suggestive forms suggesting nothing.


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