I wake up screaming.
I scream scratching the dog’s belly in bed,
scream seeing the third pillow has fallen to the dusty floor.
I scream during breakfast, wet bananas on lips.
Shaving, I scream. I scream cleaning up the bloody mess.
Scream when the neighbors pound, when the police
I scream on the walk to work, yard ladies gyrate
Arabbers hurl eggplant torpedos at me, their horses stomp, dogs bark.
I scream the news grotesque,
football game shooting in Anchorage,
Middle East imploding.
I scream under Manhattan like undigested pork.
The previous day, screaming, I crossed
a small lake in the countryside on a rowboat.
Screaming, I ate a picnic lunch, ants
forming a moustache above my screamhole.
I scream quietly during a polo-shirted
golf match, a drink umbrella catching
on my sore uvula.
In the evening the sky flames up with rockets
as I sit down to an outdoor meal
with a manufacturer of dolls’ voices
the fauna and wildlife and scout troop
suddenly a parfait of gelatin beside the yarn trees.
For three days I can’t scream as I lay in bed
and listen to the dogs amidst the trees,
the sound of gamelan. I saw lizards
on the walls of my room and
I awoke one morning to find that the
lizard on the light switch was
nothing but the janitor’s wrinkled hand.
Eventually I will regain
enough strength to put it away
with Percy Shelley’s heart which I’ve
preserved in linen all these years.
This poem was published in The Origin of Paranoia as a Heated Mole Suit which was released in December 2008. Rupert is the editor of the Shattered Wig Review, now in its 28th issue. More information can be found here.
November 2010 marks four years of PGP, and Everyday Genius is marking the occasion all month by publishing work from its archives as well as IsReads, Chapbook Genius and excerpts from some of PGP's books.