Poems / March 12, 2024

A Portrait of the Artist as I Hate You

Christopher Spaide

Honey, what was it—my original stinking sin?
When, thick-tongued and fangless, I hungered to be seen
from all angles, how could you take those pipe dreams
to mean Psycho, shower scene?

Was I too tender for you? You left me slow and lowly.
Fall off the bone. Forked up wholly holey
to my febrile fibers. What other grub daydreams
of filling up your belly?

Come REM, come starry comas sopped in sepia,
how come you keep on slipping past my sleepier
defenses, the walk-on cameo of my dreams?
Cast me. I’d play it creepier.

If I were you? Sin would sun, blisters unblue
to blusters, everything indrawn bloom into
blank sheets. Untouched. If you (in your dreams’ dreams)
were me, you’d hate you too

and gratefully, hate to be granted a way with words,
away-with-murder words, a wave dragged shorewards
dredging the unconscious, a wasting away of dreams
to silt, salt, sea-sharp shards,

who’s crying over that? So what if life’s long
and lullabying as a Ramones song
—that remains to be unseen, rewound in dreams
where this time I’m strong, strong

as the black box the crash coughs up to keep
one record of the wreckage stashed, coffin-deep,
for the rest of our days. Deep as those charmed dreams
where all I do is sleep.

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Christopher Spaide

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