2001, POETRY, Syllable Tapestries, The Uncollected Poems

The Half Poems

I live in a house that is half-done?
Plywood floors, glued and placed together,
made to stay with nail guns.
Empty shells and miss-fired nails settle about.
My whole life is packed away in tomato boxes and milk crates,
climbing the four plastered walls of my room
and two storage bens.
The pieces I do pull out, clutter the floor,
to sleep with the dogs, dirt and fleas.

I recline in my half-made bed
gazing about the half-lit room
which bicircumvents me.
I perceive things in halves:
I revert my glare to my half-bulging stomache.
It’s bulging not from food,
but words.
Words from this book and that.
Words from this voice and that.
I taste from each,
putting down
that which is left half-read,
I only have half the time.
The corporations and government have the other.

I do not eat as others,
finishing all that is on my plate.
I eat as a chef,
before I send the dish away.
‘How do you know it’s good,
if you don’t try it yourself’
So when I sit and eat as others,
my meal departs with the waitress
And I, half drunk
on a half carafe of red Chilean wine.

I have forgotten my childhood,
and repelled it from my truck window.
Pieces of my life fly about the black tar river,
run over by slick rubber tires,
jerked up into the air
to catch on a grill,
or float half-chaotically down upon the river again;
sooner or later, to be picked up by a prison detail.
I only have half a life.
Do I have enough of it to be honest?
How can I be more then half-truthful

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