My Poetry Is More Honest Than My Prose

I write poetry because it is much more honest than prose. To write prose I have to put on pants (ugh), squeeze into a bunch of way-too-tight opinions, load my arms with a bunch of dry, dusty Facts, and stand before you all saying “Yes, it is I, Mrs Political Blogger Lady. I am not made of galaxies of white light mosquito angels. I am not at all brimming with the tears of ancient grandmothers pouring down my flesh into an endless river of unanswerable sorrow. Ignore the arrows in my body where cruel men have shot me, which I have learned to use as magic wands. Pay no attention to that sauropod behind the curtain. Here is a list of facts and opinions about Jeff Bezos.”

And then you all show up in the comments saying, “Yes, we too are not even remotely anything like colossal supernova titans wielding swords of holy chaos. We are microscopic finites who either agree or disagree with you, not gods with antlers made of the elements of the universes that we have devoured. We did not just put fake Groucho Marx glasses on the face of the Eternal Unnameable; these are our normal everyday nose and glasses.”

How can we meet like that? Like a lecturer talking to an audience and saying “Here’s a Powerpoint presentation about moth balls,” without ever once stopping to say “Isn’t it weird how I’m up here with a microphone and none of you have microphones? And what will it be like when we die, anyway? I’m going to come over there and kiss each one of you on the mouth.” It’s so much easier to meet each other

down here,
when we break it down line-by-line
into a word sculpture that licks your pineal gland.

Here we can be truthful with one another.
Here I can turn my eyeballs into tentacles,
and you can turn your eyeballs into tentacles,
and we can intertwine them on this line
and intertwine our souls on this line
and live ten thousand lifetimes together on this line
and watch it all turn to smoke here on this line.

Here we do not need to pretend
that your name is Mr So-And-So
and you have a cat and a mortgage,
or that your name is Ms Whateverhead
and you like pineapple but not honeydew.
Here we do not need to pretend
that my name is “Caitlin”
(or “Caitlyn” or “Kaitlin” or “Putin-Nazi-Assadist-misandrist”
or however you spell it),
and that I have something you yourself lack.

Here we can peel off our boundary lines like bananas,
let loose the butterfly bats in our bellies
and the cackling kundalini coiled around our spines,
and form a single cloud of floating eyeballs and secret fears,
of Easter eggs under bushes and salamanders under rocks,
of prismatic platypuses and didgeridoo dingos,
of basement doors our grandfathers forbade us go near,
of attic hatches our grandmothers taught us to open,
and we can look at each other and giggle
like children hiding in the clothes rack,
and I can show you my oozing wounds,
and you can show me yours,
and we can stare with rounded mouths
as streams of rainbow dragonflies pour forth from them,
and we can press our hearts together
and keep pressing until it hurts
and keep pressing until it feels good
and keep pressing until it feels like the only thing ever,
and we can merge together
right here
right now
and be honest with each other
for once.

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