Another One Cuts Her Wrists
So many gadgets I notice now have me, the talking
armchair, the whizzer, the little pump, the tool for cutting
hair and nail and any bad connections. The tool:
“only connect,” I told them today, like it was me:
I said, the world will not be clearer, don’t pretend,
but it will somehow shine. There are depths, I lied,
and heights, and time will get you there. I told them:
fight the gadgets. Fight the power. Fight the fat
and turbulent and dull. Fight me, I told them,
rather than not fight. I rock, I rock, the armchair
talks in its low girl’s voice and the whizzer peels a thing.
The Nirvanaphone is quiet. The automatic purrer is turned off.
Somewhere else in this pile of cells a gang of transistors says
bird. Then magic. There is static, as if things
were breaking down. I told them to connect,
and break things down. Don’t worry, I said,
there are always fixers everywhere, they get paid.
There was an empty seat by the window
in the third row, I know that absence, that turn-off,
that’s the one who writes a microscopic hand, always
of death. I know what she did. They said,
she won’t be back this year. Pressure, they said: something
pressed, and then she got a phone call, and she broke.
I told them, break things down, break the beast, break me down,
rather than break nothing, but christ don’t you see,
somehow you must not touch the things that are made to harm you.
* * *
Jerry McGuire has published three books of poems, The Flagpole Dance (Lynx House Press, 1991), Vulgar Exhibitions (Eastern Washington University Press, 2002), and Venus Transit (Outriders Poetry Project, 2013). He has won a number of prizes and awards, including The Sow’s Ear Poetry Review Prize, the PublishingOnline POL Poetry Contest, the Louisiana Literature poetry prize, the Primavera Award, The Allen Ginsberg Competition, and the Outriders Poetry Project Competition. He teaches Creative Writing, poetics, and film studies at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.