This is My Mind, This is My House

by X.X.

THIS IS MY MIND, this is my house.
It is built out of referentialities,
semiotics, and banter. It is where
I shovel copies of ill wrought
manuscripts into the mind’s
filing cabinet, as if it were a
sediment choked chimney, or
a fatty aortic artery. I am a poet,
or something. I live beneath
remnants of failed punctuation
and run-on thoughts. My art requires
that I except the fact that
I will never be important.
My thoughts, therefore, are
like mice, and my words like
dust bunnies. They suck up into
my vacuum. A void which, to
others, harbors the scent of
cat piss and raw earth. No one
hears them, except perhaps the
gods, but everyone knows they
stopped giving a shit a very long
time ago. My shelves of underlined
books are a standing monument
to my horrible infliction. As a writer,
I run the risk of becoming the
victim of several occupational
hazards: no money, no women,
and a general overwhelming
sense of dismal fluctuating
depression. For the most part,
my poems reach an audience
like an unwarranted salty finger
reaches to scratch a stranger's
itchy asshole. This is to say that,
my poems are not pretty. Nor
am I. To fail, to go under, this
is my great work, my divine
calling. I meander about the heads
of far greater thinkers than I.
Verily, I misunderstand the
importance of daytime television,
and for that matter, I misunderstand
the absolute necessity of the
American dollar. I live in a house
which disregards the morals of
the average American. I enjoy
intellectualism, though I am no
damn good at it. I pretend to
pretend; a poet’s work is mimesis.
I have no proper place in this
mighty republic full of MBAs.
I read and I write; I am rejection.
Thus, I am brave and strong, and
weak in the flesh. I drink wine.
I smoke tobacco. I occasionally
enjoy a narcotic or two. I speak to
myself more than I speak to any
other person. My regiment simple:
tomorrow the trash goes out, today
it comes in, where the trash before
today, which one might call yesterday's
poem, inches closer to the flush (this is
how I write). This is how I write: in the
bathroom a stack of collected Poetry
magazines wilts against the steam of soapy
mildewed tiles. With what language games will I
wipe my behind? How many times can
my favorite worst poet, Dean Young,
get published by Poetry in one year?
What complete aggravation. What joy—
that my house is spotless, yet full of clutter.
Full of people which I adore, yet loathe;
they are viscerally splayed out in a jumble
of cognitive traps. I find no solace in
sharing this dwelling with others.
I am busy in here, in my house, in my
mind. O! what I do, I do with my mind.
I sleep with it, brush its teeth, get in
bed with it. My house, my mind, it does
all sorts of rotten things. It gets in bed with
Sylvia Plath. It masturbates, both
hands rubbing wildly each crest, each
crumpling, shifting, fibery fold. It
locks the door. It files another poem.
It says something horribly offensive,
but it does so with metaphor, because
I am a poet, or something, and this is
my house. It is my house, not yours,
which you have entered. Which you will
leave after having been inflicted
with every punishing, flippant phrase.
This is my mind, this is my house.

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