My Lapel

After John Ashbery.

Summer, 2006 / No. 16

I lose my horoscope.

My horoscope speaks to me.

I, its mother, swim out to sea

and become learning, become decorum.

A flood of monsters

arises at noon and shows us

what it has written.

What it has written

is certainty. Regrets.


A breeze diverged from wisdom.

A book grew into the dark corners

of a dank room. To be continued.


I mumbled to the frost,

I asked for forgiveness.

I wore a label on my left ankle.

The label said: “The air behaves strangely.”

Too late. A voyage of dreams

holds promise. I repeat:

a voyage of dreams holds an air mattress.

I watch the girls’ dresses

of smoke, dresses of oak and ivy.

Another time, our opinions were polluted.

I was so ignorant, I cried. I

wrapped myself in wallpaper

and tried to shine like the brightest star.


In darkness, the secrets grew

like huge red flowers, their fumes

an elixir. Success came later and

urgently. It shifted like the steam

of promise. The crows are my children.

The mudslide is my original idea.

I sleep, I pray,

a remnant

with no memory and

no itinerary. A decade

nods, renounces that which is near.

I pin soup on my lapel.

I exist.