Losing the Time of Day

I lost the time of day about three weeks ago
right after the siesta in the trembling rain,
right after the blue dream in the saffron forest,
right after the day of purple spotlights
in the auburn bathroom of pain, right after
I had left the pollinated cub with its brim
laughing, sighing, asking me
for something like the time of day
or a phone number flashing off a dock, &
it's my own number, & I've been to that place
today, & I should say not happily, no dreams, no
smoking, my gas tank opened- this, you see,
can only get duJl; it's not full
of the rich laughter of delusion, is
not helpless, weeping, soaking
its salty thumb, is making sense,
is beyond the boring pale gesture
of speech, is learning
to listen to the voices from next door
as they whisper of loss or terror,
of going up against the darkness, the duende,
the reach of the suicidal claw cracking
through the closed window, the shower
beyond words, speechless, cringing as any
good showerhead should, & me sitting here
in the middle of this poem,
losing the time of day.



                for Nadja

Some fires you start, you can't seem to put
out. It's that one match
struck, which glowers throughout
your dark ages. Where
does it begin, and what's the reason
behind it? Find out
& you're bound to singe you collar hairs,
the little poodle
from down the street comes into range,
you zap that bitter
sucker like he were a fourth of July
hot dog. Add relish,
throw on a puffy bun, hand it on
so you can get back
to work on yet another new spark.

Some fires you start for no reason
beyond the usual
bliss; the kiss of the match against
any flat cool striker,
the flaring-up, even in the worst
drizzle. Blinding at first,
& then, the after-image lingers like
sugarcane flaming in the
vague distance. Over there, where
there's yet another match
being struck, held aloft, your friend
from somewhere yells hello
& good-bye with one swift strong yellow