Back in those days, my mornings felt alive.
Just yesterday I got to thinking:
if only I had dressed more like my brother
how everything now would be so much different.
The impression I leave when I decide to emerge …
The acquaintances that I never allow to become friends …
Back in those days I knew how to unfold the fog
and penetrate the space outside of history;
I knew the tense balance between love’s uncoiled
grams and hurt’s evocative weightlessness.
Let’s abandon the clichés
of art and just say that
a broken heart is beautiful.
Let’s just say that it’s unpredictably comforting
when all you can stomach is a bowl
of Ramen Noodles and a Diet Tab.
Let’s just say it’s transformative when you find yourself
in the long aisles of self-help books at Barnes & Noble
and realize that your life is fucked.
Back when you were pretending to be cool,
I used to light candles and incense whenever
I made love.
I’d finish and hope that some nymph would bring me
a beer and a plate of cheese and crackers.
Maybe even a clove cigarette …
There must be some kind of psychological or sociological
term to name that feeling you get when your thoughts
embarrass you just enough to cause a cold sweat.
And if we are to abandon one more cliché
let’s imagine that every single circumstance
that has happened from then ‘till now
is both the clay and what is being molded.
All these slideshow scenes that are mere flickers
float by without noticing the man I have become,
the man who laughs at the bygone days
and says I’m better off for having wasted so many years.
The anecdote is to live with purpose.
My shrink has been telling me that I must separate
myself from the past of my nows
and replace regret
with the narrative of a quiet calm.
These days I take my vitamins with a good breakfast.
This morning I had a good helping
of scrambled eggs
and a slice of melon.
I’ve been told that it will make me feel less empty.
Kristian Kuhn has published four collections of poetry and currently teaches poetry and composition in the SUNY system.