Ugly Feelings

  1. After Sianne Ngai
  2. Why are people so cruel?
  3. I mean that as a very serious question
  4. Why can people be so cruel and why do they want to hurt other people
  5. And why do they hate with such intensity
  6. And why do normal things make normal people so mad
  7. Matthew Savoca wrote in a poem
  8. That Mother Nature is the new art
  9. If that is true then what
  10. Would that nature be
  11. I really don’t know
  12. I really don’t know
  13. I’m serious—I don’t
  14. Oh, I am so stricken
  15. Oh, I am so stricken with fear
  16. When the evil comes around
  17. Paranoia is the new art
  18. A lump of deceit
  19. Worry is the new art
  20. And compulsion
  21. And repulsion, an ugly heart
  22. A voice is the new art
  23. But it is rancid
  24. A rancid tune
  25. That I have worked out with care and concern
  26. To make ragged
  27. That you have worked out pitilessly
  28. That you have strove for
  29. That you have bent your fingers for
  30. That you have come around to
  31. Only to watch it come around again
  32. Orange flowers in the grove
  33. Are not ugly flowers
  34. But they are dumb medals
  35. Of the sun, which has watched them
  36. Who has cured them in its heat
  37. Only to watch them grow
  38. Not birdless
  39. But without birds
  40. Not moonless
  41. But to be a flower without a moon
  42. Not a tree that has fallen with a lump of birds
  43. But a moon that has fallen with a lump of birds
  44. So that it is no longer a moon
  45. So that its voice has no planetary pull
  46. So, that there is no center
  47. So, that center is besides the point
  48. So that the tone is pain always
  49. And hurt always
  50. So that this life is always about
  51. Dodging pain, but also inflicting it
  52. And not a body
  53. Not a body that feels
  54. But a spirit that feels
  55. A burned out spirit
  56. That is old and grey and small
  57. And never renewed
  58. Nor revived
  59. That never has life
  60. That is pageless and poreless
  61. That is dead for all time
  62. An ugliness has reached across this space
  63. It is no feeling
  64. But ugly feelings are the way we make of it
  65. And what I say feelings are
  66. Are feelings
  67. And what I say are feelings
  68. Are also not feelings
  69. And what I say are old hurts
  70. Are new hurts
  71. And what deceit
  72. And what deceit makes a moon go negative
  73. And what black hole
  74. Is the opposite of a rock
  75. I only have you and me
  76. I only have this hand to hold you with
  77. And if I am an empty space
  78. And if I am a truly empty space
  79. Then my open hand is empty too
  80. Then my heart a wide and open plain
  81. Then my brain a dense infinity
  82. A dense infinity of nothing
  83. That holds no power
  84. And if I hold no power
  85. Then what ugliness could I truly hold
  86. To make you so mad at me
  87. To make you so cruel
  88. And to extend that cruelty elsewhere
  89. And if paper and bone make up light
  90. And if animal fur makes up the night
  91. And if light and earth are nothing
  92. Then what is this light that shows my face?
  93. Then, truly
  94. I would rather it shroud in darkness
  95. Then I would rather it always be dark
  96. Then I would rather my open hand be night
  97. For what love is useful
  98. In this cold dark light
  99. And what fire extends in this cold dark light
  100. And what cruelty I will too create
  101. In the cold dark night
  102. And what cruelty will I extend
  103. To your night
  104. And what papery ghosts will I shove in your light
  105. And what cold hand will I grasp your heart with
  106. And what hot tag will I put upon your brain
  107. You know a man told me a story once
  108. Listen, listen
  109. A man told me a story
  110. It was
  111. Of a toad
  112. The toad was hungry
  113. He was tired
  114. He felt the swamp upon him
  115. His felt his skin within him
  116. He felt his black eyes melt with death
  117. But he wasn’t dead
  118. And one day a child picked him up
  119. And brought him with her
  120. And made him a reptilian bed
  121. In her house
  122. Full of grasses and insects
  123. Full of flowers, orange ones
  124. And in the house was a painter
  125. Who made a lovely picture
  126. Of the toad and the girl
  127. When the toad died
  128. The girl died
  129. Then I died
  130. That’s the story
  131. I’m dead
  132. Beautiful and ugly feelings
  133. Gorgeous and horrific feelings
  134. Feelings in the mouth of the cave
  135. Feelings on the underbelly of the sun
  136. Feelings that are hot and terrible
  137. Listen, I am asking you
  138. Why can people be so cruel
  139. I really want to know
  140. I want to know and I want you to know
  141. And I want us to stop the reasons why
  142. And I want us to reverse the earth
  143. So that it is not possible
  144. And I want us to pick each other up as animals
  145. And for us to be friends
  146. And I want us to sing and laugh
  147. What falseness do you see
  148. What falseness do you see
  149. In a gentle exorcism
  150. What ugliness do you see
  151. In our quiet and watery laughter
  152. That will cleanse the air
  153. What ugly fountains might spring forth
  154. From a watery and gentle laughter
  155. That goes circling
  156. Through the air