II—The Manipulator & The Subservient

Take my advice;
tell a sto­ry.

Two men set across a val­ley,
have many adven­tures
and return home safe­ly.

If you still have loose jaws after—
that
is the moral

there remains a caul­dron
inside you—your speak­ing
grew less or more than you want­ed

as I grew less
or more
or dif­fer­ent­ly
than she want­ed.

Who is she? My moth­er
thinks this is about her, my girl
thinks this is about her, but

the mad tongue
begs retelling; this is about a
sto­ry.

I have a sad friend [like water] who
wears a large hat to keep the sun
from his face

[I want to tell him Sing!]

and a fat friend with
a type­writer shuf­fling let­ters
that shake the sky when he reads.

[I want to catch that light­ning]

And an old friend who plays
dead-fin­gered gui­tar and a

friend I’ve nev­er met who
will not use his dying
grand­fa­ther as an excuse
to write.

[If only I had their morals]

Because here I am writ­ing—

about them and their
dying grand­fa­thers
and read­ing
about them and their
dying grand­fa­thers
and I am
angry because I will
not hes­i­tate to do this

even
when I still
can’t tell the sto­ry.

They under­stand; [I hope]
we are sub­servient
to what is inside.

I would
sell my grand­moth­er for tup­pence and
still try to talk my way into heav­en,

as if life is just prac­tice
for that last great excuse.

the mad tongue
begs retelling.


I changed a def­i­nite arti­cle and “am/angry” to “howl” in v1.1.

v1.1

Take my advice;
tell a sto­ry.

Two men set across a val­ley,
have many adven­tures
and return home safe­ly.

If you still have loose jaws after—
that
is the moral

there remains a caul­dron
inside you—your speak­ing
grew less or more than you want­ed

as I grew less
or more
or dif­fer­ent­ly
than she want­ed.

Who is she? My moth­er
thinks this is about her, my girl
thinks this is about her, but

a mad tongue
begs retelling; this is about a
sto­ry.

I have a sad friend [like water] who
wears a large hat to keep the sun
from his face

[I want to tell him Sing!]

and a fat friend with
a type­writer shuf­fling let­ters
that shake the sky when he reads.

[I want to catch that light­ning]

And an old friend who plays
dead-fin­gered gui­tar and a

friend I’ve nev­er met who
will not use his dying
grand­fa­ther as an excuse
to write.

[If only I had their morals]

Because here I am writ­ing—

about them and their
dying grand­fa­thers
and read­ing
about them and their
dying grand­fa­thers
and I
howl because I will
not hes­i­tate to do this

even
when I still
can’t tell the sto­ry.

They under­stand; [I hope]
we are sub­servient
to what is inside.

I would
sell my grand­moth­er for tup­pence and
still try to talk my way into heav­en,

as if life is just prac­tice
for that last great excuse.

the mad tongue
begs retelling.

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