Another day of National Poetry Month and it's sun-shining good. Mike Young says "clever" times lots over at HTMLGiant in his (clever?) essay about the perils and innerworkings of some aspects of cleverness. I'm not sure I get all of the essay, but it thumps again me in the way I check my face more carefully ever since I gave that speech with mac-and-cheese in my beard. PURPOSE. Here is a poem by Mike that sometimes booyeahs with cleverness, but I see PURPOSEFULNESS written all of its face.
YOU CAN KNOW THAT WAIT MEANS STAY
by Mike Young
Right away there’s thinking. Right away.
No matter how much I want my face to moon
with no contortion, leave all talk to voiceovers.
Hands take after purrs. Nicknames remind us
mostly of the fun inventing them. Every beach
fire is a kind of desperate flag. Cops pull over a
riding lawnmower, and the man won’t turn it off.
We walk the dike that crosses I-91. Headlights
pan like reasons. We’re keeping warm. Cars aren’t
fireflies, which is not even how I feel. “Funny isn’t
the same as being happy,” I tell you. Duh. Neither is
that. A family of tiny arsonists live in burned out
delivery trucks behind your neck. They are your
bad pillow. Hands wobble. It’s never been infinity
with me. Infinity is something I can fist bump.
It’s more like when I chew the top off a lightbulb,
and there’s no blob of light to hold. Carry. Get
close. Let me eat your eyelash like a mission.
If we plant it in a divot on my cheek, maybe I’ll
grow your love of coats. The lay of your wrist
when you’re tired. What plays in your head after
you gnaw my finger, look at me, teething the skin like
wrapping paper you want to save for next Christmas.
Sometimes I know that I don’t know what’s going to happen
next, but I know exactly who I’m going to be with when it
does. This feeling is called kiss me. This feeling is called hi.
But maybe you’re not thinking of anything. I’ve thought
about that. We’re on a hillside. Night grass. Grass face.
And the sky is clear enough to see exactly how you feel.