Ann Cotten

(1982 / Ames, Iowa)

THE CLASS EXCURSION - Poem by Ann Cotten

I feel complicity
when standing by smart art
I am not always funny
then I fart.

No f** perm
just a dirt dreck like a Danube
winding over German stubble fields
like coffee over stairs
and the sad sound of my souls
makes me go mad
plonk plonk plonk
plenny plenny plo
what a manhole it is, really
not a cigarette butt in sight
just viagra, viagra, viagra
through the ICE, over the plain
goes my sad refrain, my bellyache
the blues of a fucking tapir
in a horse plush costume

flush it, it's a head
whisk it literature
down in your pocket
up through the drain
and the faz says
faz faz faz
all night long
and I cannot dream anything
any longer

Then, ten minutes on,
my phone rings? Nooo
His nose is running? Nary a thought.
Some one has woken me up
he says to me "Endstation"
I was drooling in my sleep
I knew that
Everybody knows
All the people have to get out here.

I'm a pisspot, my darling,
so what do you want?
The guest shampoo
falls in the toilet
I wanted to kill you
but you said no
so what are we for?
Now we're sitting here
and sadly cry
and no one is happy
it isn't true

That we aren't in jail
we are in the hotel
and the town is a toilet
We are in hell
and the beach is a toilet
the seals are dead
the sea urchins stickly

the sea garbage bloody
the vacationists mad
the bulls nude
the sharks empty
the dippers evil
the crabs empty
the worm holes empty
(desire you total tirade?)
the black holes empty
the bikinis empty
the nuclear tests empty
the fish empty
the sea empty!
the ships empty
the captain drunk
the models flaked up
the sharks flaked up
the sea stars sad
the sea cucumbers also sad
the catamarans as I said
no I didn't
but had written first
the aluminum cans empty
the laver empty
the krill empty
all the krill, all the way empty
peninsula Krim empty,
reefs, oil tanks, plane wrecks
all empty
the otters, the whales, the catamarans
empty, empty, empty, or at least half empty
even the galleys are empty
and the galleries are empty
the bows are empty
the months are full but it doesn't help
the pockets are empty
the inner pockets empty
the luminescent egg sacs of the catfish are empty
the sea cucumbers (o we had them already)
so the sea cucumbers
the sea cucumbers
the sea cucumbers
o, o
o, where is my spaceship?
o, where is my spaceship?
It was so small, but it was
better than all this, man

Avoid decisions
but nevertheless
undress women
said my brother

Seven times I did so
seven times my blouse
was pulled over my head
and my head was beaten up
with the decisions left lying around
I was only beginning to count the moles
when I had no more freckles to call my own.
Am I smarter now?
Not in the least
just beat up soft, hazy and angry
at all my brother's enemies

She rears: And if the beamer had not been so wobbly
I wouldn't have had done all those few shots
A poet is better in a blackbox
He may believe he has a radio connection but has none,
erratically wobbles, seen from the outside, semantically for all I care

Underlay a dribble-mat - ah, never mind.
You are impermeable anyway, precisely because you
could be otherwise, you must at all cost
hide yourself, deny everything, pat everybody, improve whatever.
Yes! Why do you creep into the corners of the reception
and scatter yourselves up the walls? Why are you looking for God
in a way that leaves him standing in the middle of the room?
Step onto your dribble-mat
lift it up and
make yourself a monument
make hundreds of monuments
I don't care
I won't remember

Come in, my mind is your bungalow
and that is good. Here, drink vodka.

Anyway you are unrespectable
My mind is your Broadway
obscene and empty
You may have farts for faces but
at least you are not here
Your faces are scary
7000 tons of make-up
can't get you to sleep
Sleep! Sleep! Sleep! You wives and cretins, sleep!

Animal movies . . .
I'll be damned!
The sheep has a hat
and no face or no head
fucks in their mid-thirties approach it
they want to buy single cigarettes off it
a whole handful of them
ripe falls
are fine to see
but the sheep in its hat
fumbles and fumbles

To be Abraham, to kill them and go down with them. Oh, what blue sky. What a skin cute young leaf. Oh for the blood of a lamb, I should drink this nachmittag and evening aus.

Then I woke up.

Wetlands . . .
High is the handle!
Sleep on tiptoe
not going, not stopping
only this unerring wind
endlessly this unnerving wind

the gaseous nausea of the prom
the nostalgia of the party

gets butter on her ketchup package
eating funny things for breakfast
can't find her sea cow poem
looks again and again
decision about reaching to bag
deteriorating her gestures
by and by

trying to make a funny drawing on the napkin
she kills her pen in the soft folds
the soft folds of fame
to fold her inflammation in
folds of fame

funny animal of thought
funny animal where have you gone among the folds
if you would fold me it would be ok

Wants to be a mess-making-artist
makes a mess
with a package of ketchup and a fork
hardly anything comes out
the hole is too small
again and again she tries
until something like a globe
beside and under the package
butter still under the thumb
between the thumb and the ketchup package
everything else falls on her trousers
total breakfast I mean the tomatoes, cucumbers and all that,
scrambled eggs, with ketchup also,
all that had come out

hole to fill
comes not out
not goes out
and yet are we inside
and yet are we inside

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 25, 2018

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