This is the nudist colony of the heart;
This is dust on the mirror at the auctioned estate;
This is saddening but, in some ways, kind—
The busted telescope, the blackened star;
The crying hinge on the silver gate;
The lowered blinds.
I went on a game show called Poetry. The object was to be as much like yourself as possible. Everyone lost.
In a men’s room, a bumper sticker: “Visit FANDO.COM!” Some patterns along the borders, some carnivalesque design.
In reply, someone wrote beneath it, in permanent marker, “Yeah, I’m really going to go to a website I saw in a fucking bathroom stall.”
Later, the sticker was removed, and now there’s only the response.
The ideal poem would be infinite: would narrate the world in its entirety. But then it would realize the limits of this approach, and it would begin
To narrate from every conceivable vantage point, until it sufficed to simply “recount,” until it sufficed to simply “catalogue” . . .
Then it would refuse the very basis of these aims and, in turn, refuse the world, the narration(s) of the world, the possible worlds, the impossible—paraphrase would transform
Into enactment, and what bliss, what rapture, until the poem became conscious of its form, the infinitude of which it questioned and, in questioning, extended. It would conclude,
Finally, that it was by no means the ideal poem, and it would sing in infinite praise
Of those poems of fourteen lines that celebrate love in the imagery of wild animals and flowers.
The most important thing, when you read a poem, is to forget that it came from a poet. If you can somehow divorce the experience from those revolting
Awful little creatures, those sickening frantic insects crawling in through every crack, I vigorously recommend
That you do so. Poets always ruin poetry.
Some bright mornings a close and inexhaustible desire comes over me: to kill
Myself, only so that I can write in my suicide note: Adiós, muchachos, compañeros de mi vida,
Etc. I figure this would be funny to someone, in a dark way.
Such as how to knit a living breathing cat!—
There are no words for how I feel about you.
Two dollars and seventy-five cents, and I love you. Two
Dollars and ninety-nine cents, I’m going to knit you
A living breathing heart! I think that you should be
Equal, socially. Hurt me! And again!
There are no words!
Erick Piller received an MFA in poetry from Warren Wilson College in 2012. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming inTriQuarterly, DIAGRAM, Weave, Alice Blue, and elsewhere. He lives in Willimantic, Connecticut.