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Julia Clare Tillinghast



How to be kind to you or

How to see your ideas

As your ideas

And not the ideas

Of some box in my body

If you don’t love yourself

It is natural to question

The intelligence the sanity

Of someone who loves you

I do this all night

I dream I am a child running

In an empty house until

I have exhausted myself

And fallen asleep on the rug

As always endless ledgers

Unending tables

The Koran says the angels

Are always writing things down

Just as I am always

Endlessly calculating

Balancing, reconciling

Nothing adds up

No reasons to be loved

No histories to make it possible

May my lunch contain

Some kind of grenade

May this soil become

Buckshot and rain and some kind of black milk








Even though

I am still in the shell

And trying to get out and

Even though

My eyes are held down

With heavy weights

Snuggling in clear blankets

And though blood is washing out of me

And six thoughts shot through me

While I was trying to find that image

With my rubbery hands, hands

That think by feeling

Thoughts that have nothing to do

With the heavenly bodies

The sublime

The citrus peel

The emptiness

At the center of the breath

The view of it all

From way way far away

Way way long ago

The dance I am trying

To cut into with my shoulders

Despite the hexagon

Of intervening thoughts

What’s another word for six

I shall go on sorting

I will cry

On all the obstacles

So they are irrigated

And have not taken

One drop from the Colorado river

Or the dissembling glaciers

And I will celebrate the obstacles

As is my job

Buddhism talks about

The discriminating mind

About the hum in the stone

Ginsberg taught me

To celebrate everything

But let’s make sure not to step into

A manhole and maybe

As long as we’re just falling into them

Lets not call them personholes

Even though the weather is so crazy now

And so much of what makes us us is

Falling into the ocean

Muscles come just because

You tear yourself into pieces

Diamonds since you never let up

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