“The Hydra of myBorneo”
In the Eaves & Ungained Foliage
of myBorneo I am cocksure
with a tumbling speciation.
must hereafter be
known as She
(perhaps one day She
will just get her name back.)
(But no… this ecology
of heart or mind is not quite that robust…
for if, in fact,
I am a Hydra,
should I cut from myself the enervating head,
as I surely have?)
A brilliant neon lizard—with a regrown tail of smooth oily scales
the color of bruise—
basking in a beam of light that has
passed through the gauntlet of umbra and canopy
reminds me of
For the Hydral,
it is the shearing
of the neck
that is the high point
like the brief
seizing climax of heroin:
it’s the greatest magic trick in the world
of seething magicians:
a disappearing act
of all the things she leaves behind…
(and is that white elephant we vanish from the attic
gone? or simply gone
and what resolves in the accidental
plume of dust,
what vague, telling outline?)
So I count my addictions and wonder
does everyone have this
Nowadays I want from women
transparency, but only partly.
And I have cut them all off,
one by one.
At pace with my own powers
of Regeneration & Recuperation.
The demands of an increased metabolism, naturally,
required me to muster an appetite,
which has always troubled me.
And there was surgical precision
most of the time, but in honesty
there were here and there the violent
rippings of neck from my countless
collarbones: fitful shows of strength for whom?
And it might have gone on forever,
an infinite regress of wounding and regeneration
were it not for the progress charted
in thin lines of scarification.
And as for her, I am left with necklaces
of turned and purple skin—
marks of a double trespass—
and an elephant graveyard:
a pile of loose and grey heads
severed at the shoulders;
fetid serial self-portraitures
in wilting stem & flower.