Perihelion: An Online Journal of Poetry and Mayhem
The Santa Cruz Issue
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Doren Robbins



You let those dogs go on
fighting over a shoe in the garbage.
Wrecked your car--you needed to look
at a wreck, wake up who you’re returning
to, wake up in your head where the tide
of return reforms. You let those dogs go.
The dictator-makers, debt-inventors,
unemployment creators bide their time.
They’ll be glad to cut you off. Somebody will.
They’re sex electric waiting for the numbers
to come up. They’ll do it till they ruin their hands,
they’ll do it till there isn’t a meat hook left. Then
someone else will do it. The period I’m talking
about, I didn’t know anyone during that period
but my wife. And I looked at everything through
the eyes of an ant. I lived up north to the tune
of eight hundred types of moss fungus. Up there
you get allergically partially deaf on either side of
the sagittal plane. You get crazy enough to know
how to feed from the way these things get
served up to you. The automated voice eats your
bar code, the pre-recorded system packs your
name inside the statistical freeze chip. Full throttle
garbage-ization all the way. You see it with the
eyes of an ant. You jot down the botanical world and
aquatic world equivalent in one notebook. You have
the ongoing scroll on the parasympathetic nature.
You get the correspondences. But I feared nature.
Between jobs nature tried burning me alive
in a brush fire in Merced, every vehicle
on the road stopped in the smoke barrier
suffocation ceremony. Nature’s an assassin.
Nature poisoned my left ear twice after swimming
in a Pacific bay. Which nature is that? You know
at some point by the nerve sores and pressure the body
keeps dragging up, what you think of the union.
The truth is, one morning, one metal roof panel,
the amber color of it going, you started out, you
began over in a thimble not a chateau. Stark as long
as it took, and out, way the hell out. Sometimes you
repeat it, part of the time all you can do is repeat it.
You don’t need the grout metaphor, you don’t need
Tiresias. Whichever screen you look to you see
your nature all day.