The subject does not eat food, he only bathes and partakes of honey. After a month he only excretes honey and death follows. His fellow men place him in a stone coffin filled with honey in which he macerates. —Tao Jincheng, Record After Retiring from Plowing
I am conversant in this emergency
room of night, present-minded
as a cricket. I can sound like hair
& say my what a test or this
is a gesture night makes
filling out my contract with the bees—
but what crock, talking.
I’m going to sit here and wait
for the specialists.
I want to ask what happens
to my body if I leave it like that,
bathing in honey, how long
before it feels itself go
quiet. Will it learn to breathe
its own lung melt, the muscles
in their moving slide.
This is the new kind of quiet
that the eyes, too, they do.
I wonder will it be nothing
at all. For how long.
What I’m asking is
the world—is it a honey one
I wonder. I have some dreams.
The dream of being useful to a woman
is made of that kind of honey.
That you can have me
in a bottle, scrub me in your hair & oh
you can use me for all sorts of things.
During our time here nothing much
will be talked about.
I will come to some camera
in the desert of your making & speak.
I remember getting in the car.
This is my country full of pairs.
I made this. It can be scary
like if you’ve seen a variety of women
violins or sand.
Here is an analogy: A cricket feels
the grass growing
on the lawn & doesn’t dislike
or like me.
Words are turkeys in the sky
you pack up.
Leave Indiana. People there are old as you
tell me they are.
Some people I know are forming a prison.
You don’t lie to the lieutenant
the lieutenant lies to you
is a kind of thing you learn there.
They teach you to make the day
into a wrist of small crimes.
A straw hat full of California dimes.
You can see the world from all fours,
your hands tied with a towel — for a while
it looks right that way, ass up.
That’s because your brain is filled with blood.