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Marcus Slease || School of Fish


___________________
SCHOOL OF FISH

 

 

The wind

is getting

saucy today,

a little spit

mixed with

dry winter

leaves.

I didn’t

bring

a shield.

It’s all

getting in

my eyes.

I want

to get

saucy too.

How do

I get

saucy?

Just blow

along

with the wind.

At Deer Park,

near Richmond

American University,

there are dogs

running around.

I used

to have

a dog

named Lady.

And a god too.

I am trying

to reconnect

with nature.

Is it god?

What is

nature?

What is

a dog?

My stress level

was code red.

I was lost

in the crowds

and clinging,

trying to do

things perfect,

and I am waiting

to let go again.

It takes

too long.

I need

a new haircut.

I need

to get new

to see things

different.

What is

the big picture?

Death and nature.

There is

too much job,

not enough life.

An orgasm

and massage

and its code green

for a while.

Up at 3.30 4.30

and out of bed

at 5.30.

Christmas

is on the way

and there is

no way

to stop it.

I am

not home.

Where

is my home?

I am making

a new one.

I need a hug.

I am afraid

if I get a hug

I will forget

all the things

I am supposed

to do.

My ears

are ringing.

My toes

are cold.

It is 7.02.

I am thinking

of my immigrant

status

in the United

States of America.

An immigrant

longs to be

with aliens,

legal or illegal

we are always

aliens.

I want to be

a saucy alien.

This is the weather.

I am going

to turn on

the heater

to warm

up my toes.

I am reading

School of Fish

by Eileen Myles.

Memory is an alien,

dreams are an alien.

I dreamt

about my

favorite aunt

last night.

She bought me

goldfish

at the market

when I was

younger.

This was

in Portadown.

I could hear it

swimming,

bumping up

against the plastic bag.

Last night she was

at the fish

and chip shop.

It was not

a good fish

and chip shop,

and we both

knew it.

I sat

on the curb

near the fish

and chip shop

and said,

it’s not a good

fish and chip shop.

And she nodded.

I had a hat

over my eyes.

I could partially

see, and partially

not see.

I knew

I was dreaming.

I walked on past

my childhood,

to my youth.

There was mosh pit

all around me,

people elbowing,

a great wave.

I swayed like

I was on a boat.

I didn’t try

to dance.

I stayed sitting.

Right smack

in the middle,

with my hat

half covering

my eyes.

Like a half

ass blindfold.

Like the kind

of blindfold

we used

for magic tricks

in my youth,

with Mormon

missionaries

on Monday nights.

It was called

Family Home

Evening.

The blindfold

was not tight,

you could still

see if you put

your head down.

I wasn’t going

anywhere.

I wasn’t resisting

the waves

the crowd

the silent

music

pushing

and rocking me.

I am full

of sauce

at Christmas.

I am not going

home.

Why do we dream?

What good

does it do?

Time goes,

everything changes.

I stayed seated.

I wasn’t going

anywhere.

How big is this world

and what is there

to push against?

I am a goldfish

but I want to be a bird.

I am going to be

a bird today.

I am going

to get a haircut

and start

all over again

with my immigrant

status.

I was eating

raw veggies

but now I am

cooking them.

I am going

to turn on the heater

and read Zen

flash fiction.

I am not escaping

the weather.

The first Zen

flash

fiction

is about a person

not turning

back

after leaving

his old life

of drinking

and gambling

behind.

He became

a zen master.

Even this little

notebook

is ending.

It is the last

day of fall

semester.

Eileen Myles

and Philip Whalen

are my masters:

conversation

warmth

energy

expansiveness

openness

generosity

honesty

engagement.

My alarm

has gone

off.

It is 7.30AM.

I woke up

many hours

early.

The trees

are bare.

All the leaves

have blown away.

Everyone

is on their way

to work

outside

my window

on Commercial

Road.

I am seeing

it like a bird,

with its great

big aerial

view.

I am thinking

of the really

big birds,

but the little

ones too.

I am seeing

it like

a goldfish

swimming

in a little

plastic bag.

what is IT?

This poem

never ends

 

 

___________________


___________________

Marcus Slease was born in Portadown, N. Ireland in 1974. At the end of 1985 he immigrated to Las Vegas to become Mormon. He is no longer Mormon or a resident of Vegas. He lives in East London and teaches English as a foreign language. His poetry has been translated and published in Danish and Polish. His latest books are Spanish Fork (Country Music 2014), The House of Zabka (Deathless Press 2013) and Mu (Dream) So (Window) (Poor Claudia 2012). Videos of readings from his work in progress, Another Kind of Mission, are available over here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9qOb4mRX5PI and over here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbOaoYLPmMc  and also here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3073DcMsjI0. A recent interview can be found here: http://everestonline.tumblr.com/post/53433193690/marcus-slease-interview  and here: http://theconversant.org/?p=5588 You can find him at Never Mind the Beasts www.marcusslease.blogspot.com