My Content
K. Silem Mohammad

Did I Say That Out Loud?

This was supposed to be about "ass pants,"
Because somewhere I heard that ... uh-oh, no mind!
The paper trail dissolves in synecdoche,
It has feet for arms, tails for toes, a head for numbers.

Sure, I tried to forge a column out of the retractions
I was forced to fork over. I had to make nappy with the sunshine;
I mailed farthings to the railroad snots, who stang
Me repeatedly with their peptic visors,
While you lay flat on your sandwich board, writing
A long list of what couldn't be described any other way
Than as the vibrant protégés of all
Who staved off the ravages of dysentery
To cry wolf in a foxhole with surefire results.

I'm like a twelve-year-old—OK, there's that.
But there are those of us who still think it's done this way,
Leaving the peripheries distinct only as webbed symbols, battening
On the truly protuberant subject matter
Remaining bound to the coroner's line of sight,
The tunnelvision called "seeing stars."

And you can collect vanity points for knowing me
When I was tergiversating, packing a wallop
In my baby pants. Lo, how the parable
Proved foxy! Saint Ignatius was flouted
And the saccharine vestments peeled away
To reveal how coy a matron the huckster had got to become.
Bad hindsight! Thus kindly fussed with,
The unified visions of last time migrate like headstones ... i.e., hardly,
Over hypothetical lengths of time
Referred to as dingbats. Want some?

God help all conservators,
Milkfed or otherwise—human ancestors
And their closest possible equivalents. Here
Sits Patrick Henry at the foot of a monad,
Wishing his quill pen were a pelican's,
Or that the thumb frieze were not so monstrous in which
He can now be found, this one.
This one is continued on the back panel
Of a carton clearly marked Oeuvres.
So Destiny matters after all. And I'm "gay," too,
But not in a God Is My Co-pilot sort of way.
And since you can't hear me when I'm lying
We'll take this façade indoors, where I'll don
A furry cravat, imparting organic dignity
To beasts; teary shapes of goodwill. All mustered
In the shaded boardrooms, prurient grottoes, and billet
Doux of a forgotten empery. An empery of sizes,
An enfilade of countrified gates....

You know, "I really think that we could make it."
I was sorry to miss the one rough way
Those prototypes tottered
And (ultimately) toppled into a bad acronym.

Screw money, it can't buy groceries.
It can't hurt to impeach
The lawless moppets, whose popular orbit
Was tossed floppily awry by disease,
Fratricide, and the long desolate tenacity
Of force-fed sublunary sundries, etc. Density matters
After all. In the past, all conversations were cut short
The hard way, by maudlin wisps....
Franciscans whipped for viperous tendencies....

Hold it right there, that's a feverish myth.
It would take a standing army to speak
Your truth.