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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