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May 22, 2019 Poetry

Two Poems

Kendra Ferguson

Two Poems photo

MINIMUS OPUS

1997
I was hiding behind a chair
Cutting off all my hair
My father asked me
If I was a retard
I replied honestly
I didn’t know
Childhood is
A population of no’s
In a field of infinite indifference
A ham and cheese sandwich
In the void
The same theoretical mass that these days
Contains thoughts about love
When you fancy yourself in it
Which is the perfect metaphor
For trying to do anything
At all
Everything is pure
When kept inside the mind
No one really even owns anything anymore
A few t-shirts and an outdated iphone
Don’t even bother
Wondering what happens when you die
The fanfare will be typical
An estate won’t exist
Questionably neither will you
The nice thing about time 
Is that nothing has happened yet
Or it has all already happened
At the same time
Consider that
While in line at the grocery store
Look at your bananas
Oatmeal wine lentils 
At the bottom of the basket
Look at  
The can of sardines
That somehow 
Looks back
The fickle nature of certainty 
Makes apathy shiny and desirable
Which is probably why
We have agreed we think our house
Is disintegrating around us
Everything is dusty
For no other reasonable reason
It isn’t
Anyone else’s business
What anyone else does 
When they are alone
The living room is set on silent
While dust accumulates
It has all already been dusty
It has all already been said
Yet everyone is still talking
Quiet, please
I should be speed walking alone
Down Killingsworth st. and admiring
Clothing and sidewalks
There is so much beauty in garbage
Simply by virtue of it
Being in the wrong place
Anyways,
Writers are obsessive liars
Who are honest about it
Bowls of soup have told fewer
Lies than most people
Yet everyone is in conversation
With other people
Rather than eating soup
Riddle me that, or
At the very least
Listen to whatever record is playing in the living room
Or make up a secret handshake
With someone you fancy yourself to love
Find a new kind
Of conversation
And next time you’re at the coast
Order a bowl of chowder
Slip the little packet
Of hexagonal crackers
Into your jacket pocket 
No, you’re obviously not going to eat them later
It’s just nice to have a little crunchy sound
Here and there
To startle you when
Feeling dramatically apathetic
Alone on a park bench or in an elevator
Oops crinkle crinkle
It’s nice
To laugh on accident
If that doesn’t make sense 
Then nothing does
I’m going to go cut off
The rest of my hair now
Or at least shake it around
In front of a mirror
I’m a poet
I can do whatever I want
Like last September
When I drove through the Palm Desert
Just to sit in Elvis’ bathtub
And laugh
Filling my head
With someone else’s memories
Call it a vacation
Or one half of a romance
A multicolored black hole
A z-dimensional open and shut
It doesn’t matter if the limits meet
It doesn’t matter who you were
Sweep all future declarations 
Under the rug
Call then Before
And now After
Even though we all know
Only losers think in binaries 
It is Wednesday afternoon and
I feel powerful
My phone lit up to tell me the weather
Which seems unusual, seeing as
Mostly cloudy is not urgent news
So now I simply 
Rig my fantasy baseball team
And place imaginary bets on imaginary ponies
Horrifying future biographers

 

OH THE TANGLED WEBS WE WEAVE

this is the second to last stop on the line / i was supposed to get off / where was i going / i might have to turn around / it turns out being clever is actually useless but wordplay does make people laugh / do people like me not because i’m pretty but because i’m funny /  i forgot to pay my electric bill / the euphorbia is dying out back / the euphoria was never going to last / if this is literal then what does figurative look like / does my figure look ready for hands to shape it / it’s okay if it doesn’t / do i think it isn’t okay because i have to be constantly reminded that it is / do people like me not because i’m funny but because i’m pretty / this isn’t mania this is something else / this is last year / before my mouth fell permanently open / i didn’t ask to be here / here is simply being alive / maybe this green juice will make me complete / i will make some money by selling pictures of my feet / the big black dog of my dreams is wagging its tail in the doorway

image: Aaron Burch


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