Hedging Bets

Images of a view from the 1015-foot point along the Lafayette Rim Trail, one image of the author running along the trail, and one of the author’s foot as a blur on the same trail, on the same day (12–20–2020)

The following is an ekphrasitic poem inspired by the 12–06–2020 postcard from David Agasi, who will be coming out with a postcard book to which you may be as affected.

“More surface,” I must be a rapist

Wanting to dry hump your words.

“To the sky today,”
I look up with you,
But not as a friend,
But as an frenemy,

Which sees the beauty you possess,
And jealous of your pickiness.

You haven’t worked for years

And the jobs I have done are beneath you.

You have the beautiful wife.
Her capacity to love you,
Just as I do,
Because I see my naiveté

Or is it purity
In you?
My body has nearly given up.

I sleep for a few hours and then wake.
There is no follow through.
I think my body is on red-alert.
It writhes, it’s painful,
Muscles are tearing and literally

Both arms are either separated
And/or their musculature is torn.
I can’t sleep on either side.
To get any rest, I have to stay in bed
And try to fall asleep again.
I do this over and over until

It’s nightfall.
The only thing I can get done

From time-to-time is run.
And when I run, I carry my

Body at an angle,
Its like I am pulling it:
“Please, please, this will help you.”

I am fragmented. I am in terrible pain,

And I feel like I might be dead by

Next year.

I shiver.

I ache.

And I have nothing to look forward to.

My job is going to run me into the pavement

Or I am going to get that virus.
Its like I am finally greeting that bear

In the forest.
There is just no language or argument
And you know how I argue,

I put everything into it.
How I play music,

Write lyrics,

Record myself singing.

There is just nothing left.
I see that I am irrelevant.

I thought I could see it all

And people would know

What I was talking about,

But there is no one listening.

I am in the forest alone.

I haven’t loved anyone

For so long, I can’t remember.

It was literally 1999 when I broke

With the Flight Attendant.

She simply stopped communicating.

Every woman I have ever loved

Is gone, and they were short-lived.

My coins are spent.

I have nothing left.

No ideas.

You say, “That’s just a play of words.”

“It’s cold.”

It’s not that cold,

I am just weak, tired, under fed.

You say “nearly everyone” you have “known is either

“A disappearance…or else an afterthought.”

Like me, they are all gone.

I have dreams of people I have known,

Who were friendly, but they never really

Followed through.

They kept their distance.

And I think I know why.

Everyone is hedging their bets.

Like you, by the first of the year,
I will have to reassess, who is still with me.

I don’t blame them.

I am a screech owl.

I know those black birds.

We have them here,

And I feel like they know

We are all going to start eating each other.

This is where the feeding is going to be good,

“Just watch,” they say to each other.

Do you remember when we saw those birds here?

There were hundreds of them on the electric lines.

I agree, as the depression hits, we will be forced to move,

To try to make some living wherever we can find it,

But it is going to be different this time.

I feel like we are going to drop to the bottom,

From first-world nation to forth.

Insanity will overcome us

In our desperation.

“Plagues of thought gone under by the dawn.”

You say it so well.

I don’t have the words anymore.

Things are too desperate

For me to wax nostalgic.

You watch James Turrell.

Attendance is down, so

You have time to write.

I am so glad you got more Bolaño.
Yes, you have a month off too!

It’s like this cruel gift.
We have, as you say, to

Create “imaginary platforms”
Upon which to move our social lives.

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I work in photography, poetry, fiction, criticism, oils, drawing, music, condo remodeling and design. I am interested in catharsis. Savioni@astound.net.

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