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Many Poems || Leif Haven


On sleep:

 

Then in the place that is full of candy I can’t even imagine the boiler in the atmosphere because I know you know and we both know that that doesn’t make sense except that there is certainly vapor that rises and water turns to not water and then there is ice, which maybe somewhere becomes nothing like a pile of sugar daddy’s and I know there is nothing but the tundra, and then a handful of nuts, and then a series of pictures on the screen. One can imagine and want but then the thing doesn’t ever have to be anything but the way that it is that’s for sure.

 

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How to talk about your trip to Spain:

 

Cruzcampo. Estrella Damm. Estrella Galicia. San Miguel? Get to the sex quickly. As quickly as possible otherwise everyone might just get up and leave. There should be pictures and goddamnit learn to take better pictures. You’ve had time to learn to take better pictures by now. Ok. So you need to talk about the architecture I guess. The people want to know your thoughts on architecture. But really, nobody cares about cathedrals anymore, or anything like, related to the Guggenheim or anything, so I think that what you should really be talking about is small unremarkable buildings that are usually taken for granted. Talk about how people make their homes. And how things are arranged into homes. Where people put their ham. Where they put their guitars and wine and whatever other Spanish stuff people keep around in Spain, I don’t know. What other stuff is in there, all of the normal people stuff that people have and where they put it and how they put it and how they arrange themselves and their stuff so that it’s in a home. Maybe talk about the new buildings that don’t have any kind of burden of historicity about them or the government buildings or maybe all buildings are built with a burden and then you can identify and talk about that and maybe it’s different or the same and the buildings that are and are built and are being built wherever you are from? How do you feel about the buildings? How do you feel about the country that you are going back to? How do you feel about Spain? Did you meet anyone? Can you speak Spanish? Ok you’re right, I know all the answers to these questions and this isn’t a survey or anything but what should I be asking? For the people that want to know? Please put away your phone I don’t want to see any more pictures. I want you to tell me what you did in the times that you don’t remember. What you did in the morning when no one was around. What you bought at the market and cooked for yourself and no one else. What you did when things wore off. Where you would wind up when you didn’t intend to go there. The things that got normal. The things that didn’t get normal. The things that punctured you like a sad balloon when you didn’t expect them. That you thought you would bring home but didn’t really have room ultimately and that you didn’t feel bad about or maybe tell me about the things that you did feel bad about but would do again just the same. Tell me about the shape of the keys because I think they’re different. Tell me about the smell of the money. Tell me about the smell of the keys and the smell of the money. And tell me about the smell of the mornings by yourself or with someone else and how they tasted different here versus there and the cigarettes in the mornings and how they tasted in the different cities respectively and how they show up differently when looked over through a window versus from a patio and how there are many different things but what do you decide to tell when it comes time to do so? And what about the hills?

 

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How to be humbled by an egg sandwich every morning:

 

Build it like you would build your own house or like how you would build yourself a world if you were to have that luxury and put in it all the things that you would want to be there if you had that choice and all the things that you think are necessary and there is also the issue of timing. Timing is a difficult and delicate thing to coordinate but not impossible because there is time. Take a watch or perhaps use the timer on the stove if there is one. If you make coffee or some other thing make sure that you are considering it and deciding whether it should be before, during, or after everything else. Do you have all the things that you need for building your house in your house right now? The sandwich will not wait. If you do not have all of the things that the sandwich wants then too bad because this must be built before you leave the house and if you leave the house then everything you work for will be for naught. This must be completed before anyone wakes up in secret and if you cannot complete the sandwich without leaving the house then you must wait for another day. But if you do have all the things that you need to make the ideal sandwich then have at it. Make it the best that you think is possible. The best of all possible sandwiches. Perhaps you need something like meat — bacon, sausage, lamb, whatever you think is necessary. Perhaps not meat. That’s great. Whatever you think. Seitan? Maybe you don’t need eggs. That’s fine too. It’s the thought, you know? Cheese? Soft or hard? Vegetables are important and you should eat them or else you’ll die. So find some greens or something. Now how will you cook the eggs or not eggs? It’s very important that you get this right. The egg part. And also the bread. Without the right bread also everything will be lost. The bread is an important decision. Please. Consider it. Do you have something decent? It’s hard to accomplish anything with lousy sliced white bread or hotdog buns or whatever. But goddamnit it’s worth a try. Something harder and crustier and more ‘rustic’ would be optimal. Consider it for next time. Be careful during the assembly phase of your sandwich making. Pay attention to the order; the order is very important. Make sure everything lines up. That everything is in order, and sits level, or close enough, and that there is symmetry and balance. Make sure to set everything on a plate. Perhaps you want to cut the sandwich in half before that. It’s hard to eat if it’s too big so consider that. Take all the cups and glasses of things, of water and coffee and orange juice and if you want butter or hot sauce or whatever you do that’s your business but for god’s sakes just put it on the table so you don’t have to get up in the middle of all of this. When you’ve got everything organized and you’re sure, then sit down quickly because the food is getting cold and there’s no time to waste. Eat. Please eat. If you’ve done everything right here’s what will happen: You will take a big bite. You will feel happy and satisfied and feel that you have accomplished something small but also beautiful and of all the things that you can do this is a decent one. Then your sandwich will disintegrate in your hand. Pieces will fall to the floor and fall into your lap. A tomato on the floor. Scraps of egg. How do you feel now?

 

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Leif Haven lives in Oakland, CA. These poems are part of a manuscript called “Instructions For Making A New World”. Other recent work can be found at http://leifhaven.com.