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Page 225

In my mind, the words "in my mind" – now.
In your mind, the words "in my mind" – now.
We've just achieved time travel. Now – I am touching
my left index finger to the tip of my nose
(I really am, right now). You touch YOUR nose
with YOUR left index finger – no, not my nose,
YOUR nose (far more important than my nose,
demanding upper case). No, really, just do it,
why not? Be wild and crazy, touch your nose.
(If you're embarrassed because someone who
"wouldn't understand" is in the room, you can
pretend to scratch your nose. Be brave.)
(I know I'm good, but I don't think these words
will be understood when we no longer have noses
or fingers.)

I wrote a poem like this one 30 years ago, said to
watch the sunset as I'm now watching the sunset, touch
your nose as I'm touching mine, or, if you no longer have
fingers or noses, touch the sunset as I am now touching
the sunset. Isn't that touching? These days I'm less likely
to end on a sunset note. I don't like to be pushed around
by clocks and third-rate stars. Synchrony is synchrony,
and a scratched pimple on the nose is as lurid as sunset.

[Nonsense, pure bravado! I've never felt vast and calm
while admiring a pimple-set.]

I hope you haven't been touching your nose all this time.
I stopped ten lines ago, or, depending on when you're reading,
years, decades ago – hell, I'm dead, buried, reborn as someone
who can't quite recall having ever been whatsisname and is,
right now as you read these words, screaming at his mother
that she never understands him or her. Or it.

And there you are, all by yourself with your finger on your nose
(SURE you weren't picking it, oh sure!) and don't you feel
a fool, all alone in time, betrayed by these ink-squiggles-

[Hearing voices here? You should see someone about that.
You need to chill, lay back. Visit your local Club Med-
ication. Chase all those voices out of your head
with a pill, which is mental white noise, like a clunky
air conditioning system, drowning out all else,
while all your voices – stale ancient ones and fresh
new ones – strain their throats, screaming,
trying to get through to you. But if you think
you heard me say any of this (including this),
something is still getting through the noise.]

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