Can’t Get Outside Myself

Can’t Get Outside Myself
by Dan Raphael

There’s a thunder-storm in my stomach, arctic midnight in my heart

a muscular wind wanting to push things out

but everythings too particulate to move consistently

swirling around an abandoned center, reversing in passive resistance

and aerodynamic charm

With this much scattered momentum who could say still, stand straight

as i radiate anti-magnetic bands of confusion & frustration, impenetrable

like a gyroscopic with hiccups willing randomly shifting parts of itself

from ferrous to feral, strong and wild, fused & undisciplined,

a dust devil i mistake for connect-the-dots,

planets formed from cosmic sneezes inherent gravity,

a sun with diarrhea

60 geese in the schoolyard across the street—how many of them are me

how many of whatever birds in the giant cave of my chest

so wide the hummingbirds must rest while crossing

from one efflorescent lungle to another

If i could clear out my engine compartment, replace and retrofit,

would i go for speed or armor, maneuverability or camouflage

the world seems scary big, all paved and signless, traffic coming from all directions

and so suddenly in spite of no places to hide, all buildings transparent and

permeable, more ideas than structures, more advertising than shelter

When i see the twin i never had walking down the street i need a mirror,

an ID check, my location on the global personality system:

am i more like poland or kenya today, am i lost in square miles

of mutant sunflowers or trying to find the way out of this 30 story apartment

birds keep smashing against the windows of, birds with blood the color of antifreeze.

i crave a sizzling aroma with ingredients from 3 continents,

a fruit with juice so thick It cannot be contained,

will find a way to colonize the nearest valley

Perhaps the key is verticality, a long metal line, antenna and conduit,

taut but not tense, full sensory arrays, a sky always in a minor key—

what type of horn would my black lab blow, brown bear on tenor, cat on keys

while all i can hear is a passing car’s mega bass, pounding amelodically

no music, just forces, like tangoing with someone who’s anesthetized

& my nose is dripping snow

Examining myself for a newly forming wetland,

a leaking uncharted pipeline, an immobile river.

when i touch the faucet my temperature begins to plummet,

my blood pressure seals all the hatches and prepares to dive—

torpedoes of rage, minefields of mass media, you don’t have to enlist

to be on this list, no angel splashing V8 on my door

the locks were changed while i slept and i cant get out of myself,

windows sealed in saran wrap, blue-toothed electricity swarming

disguised as fruit flies and mice, that ozone smell meaning rain

or a bolt of lightning from the toilet, a door that’s never been

in the back of my closet, an 80 year old telephone

ringing like a blacksmiths mallet—i am both bellows and flame;

how long do i have to hammer this bone before i can eat it,

how far do i have to run before the earth throws me into clouds

who may not recognize me as anything other than trash

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