Cleaving Eigner

—for charles bernstein & ron silliman

how crummy—being a spaz poet
laboring like flaubert—unspeakably gauche
suffering the ordeal—like madame bovary
writing—disproportionately gimpy
(one key at a time—one index finger)
absolute spasticity—infinite suffering
each free verse ditty—a struggle
so pitiless—my lost proprioception
so alone at times—nothing makes sense
sifting thru—olson’s gloucester dump
the thing that moves—page after page
up the hill—the polis trash refuse rats
new england spaz poet—useless

how cheesy—my spaz poetry
neither elitist—nor bohemian
not overtly political—more like
privileging—my spasticity
cultivating—it’s class consciousness
the bottom—of the american dream
no staircase to heaven—no ladder
no rungs to climb—like jacob
the only angel—to wrestle with
being myself—in a wheelchair
typing—typing & struggling
one key—one word at a time…

my spaz arms—folded in a knot
my crumpled body—stupid & moody
out of joint—my driven lines
my spaz arms—mashed against royal
my nervous index finger—its own mind
out of focus—then back again
oblivious—to Quasimodo
words of a—broken hunchback
my body—refusing to give up
the awful truth—postpones itself
closure hisses at me—I smile

spaz arms—falling into shadow
strong bricklayer’s arms—not mine
big biceps—sleek schwarzenegger
dreams of berkeley—cumly campus
my parallel existence—muscleman
gumming his silhouette—magazine ads
weightlifter’s arms—barbells gym
curious imbrications—somber contours
my double—nipples, bellybutton
everything I’m not—arnold’s other
weightlifters paradise—gold’s gym
daydreaming—of the austrian oak
stumped by—the artifice of muscles
all I can do—finger the keyboard

cleaves hide—a veil of tears
nobody knows—how it works
two verticals—one horizontal
sometimes—they make sense
other times—they disjunct me
slimming it down—streamlining it
the have’s—and have not’s
me & my body—mostly have not
sometimes tho—cleaves come thru
sitting in my wheelchair—on the porch
or in the big airy—berkeley bedroom
spaz itself—visits me
my index finger—into a trance
that’s when typing—takes over
something seeps thru—bleeds but
does it help anybody—I asked olson

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