Poetry  August 2009 | issue 404


by Eric Anderson

ERIC ANDERSON’s book of poems is The Parable of the Room Spinning. He works part time for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, where he spends the day looking at archived aerial photographs of the Lake Erie shore, trying to decide who owns what. He lives in Elyria, Ohio.

A Warning

Today I feel better, because I woke thinking everything that disappears from the planet
    might reappear somewhere else. The thought was grand at first. I imagined the dodo,
silly and lost forever, still alive in some other dimension. Inevitably, though,
       the thought became smaller. I tried to save it by imagining the dodo’s core
ingredients recycled and assimilated into otherness: absorbed by predators or
scavengers, turned into dirt. I began to care less about form. If my body broken into atoms
still exists, then the loss of my body is not a true loss,
       for I was only briefly human.

Yesterday, when I woke, I felt not so good, because I realized that every day the possibility
    of my sleeping with two women at the same time diminishes.  
A sad thought
       first thing in the morning. It only proves how ridiculous thinking can be:
the wrong thought can waylay all other plans and send one into a daylong daydream
about Porno World, where the best career you can have is plumber or pizza-delivery guy.

And now I am sad once again because it is unpleasant to realize that both thoughts carry
equal weight in my mind: a world where nothing dies because everything still exists,
and a world where beautiful women call you up to fix their television but decide
they’d like to fuck you instead. I thought of their mouths on my body, and also I
thought of the dodo being not extinct but opening
       a fragment of sky low to the horizon — even the air at our feet is sky —
and stepping through into dodo heaven, becoming the dodosattva, but still
essentially a large, flightless bird, easy to catch, pleasant of taste.

Now it occurs to me that even if the dodos came back, I wouldn’t be happy for long.  
And even if two bisexual roommate stewardesses suddenly ravished me midflight,
       eventually I would want more than that — more mouths, more women —  
and even smothered under the weight of their passion somehow I would want more flesh, less air.

       Nothing ever goes away enough or arrives enough,
and I want to cry when I think of my heart,
   muscle pounding in muscle, greedy always for joy.




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