Whenever I do a one-word title, the poem is meant as both a definition and a demonstration in text.

Today was my second day in a row of working both the jobs i have right now, and since I made the mistake of staying up past my bedtime last night to play Civ (silly girl!), I woke up dead tired. First job let me out a little early, so I had time to go sit in the library across the street from the grocery store before my shift there began. I've been reading a lovely book called "The Rest Is Noise" about classical composers of the 20th century, but I didn't feel like taking it out and reading it. And checking out another book seemed like overkill when I've got one with which I'm almost finished. Tired both emotionally and physically, the only thing I could think of to do is write. Start with stream of consciousness and hammer it into a coherent thoughtspace as it goes along. In college I would have just snuck off to the woods and sung "Time" by Phil Ochs (Tori version); the best I could do here was quote it, towards the end. Homage, baby; it's a form of currency!

This time, this brief moment in my life, is a time I've been calling "everything happens at once time." Where many strands of development, growth and work all rise into manifestation together--where I find out what I'm really made of and whether the work I've been doing is substantive or foolish. What things are made of is their composition.

So I know poems shouldn't need introductions; they should be able to speak for themselves. And the weirder, the less formally structured the poem, the
more that applies. This is because when you step outside conventional forms, by that act of abnegation you declare the thing you are trying to express to be greater than the form. To be worth abandoning form in order to get across. If the work itself fails to reach anyone, then you have failed as a maker. You have made something which is self-indulgence and only qualifies as art because intention counts.

All this to say, if this introduction is artistically superfluous, let's just consider it a hidden part of the poem that doesn't get read when I read it aloud. Or when you do, cause it sounds much, much better that way. Trust me on this.

before my engine starves, I'll carve,
I'll carve mind out of time
make it mine, make it fun, get it done.
like some mumbling turtlenecked composer
loops a tape of tables falling over and over
and wriggles between the cascading layers
of noise, noise, blankets himself, buries
the world in the sound
of the sound of the world buried
under its own secret structure.
let me roll over and fold a warm
coverlet over myself.

sleep is food and food is sleep
and fuel is fuel is fuel to keep
the engines in my ribs and head
primed, churning, turning out of bed

now this machine I've been seems natural
now all the regulations I ingest
seem, not assumptions, but chaste, factual
a cat which purrs, claws kneading at my chest

but some of it is lies! I spy surprise
disguised as expectation, meter bleeding into freeverse,
false assumptions buried
in true memory, unremembered things
mute, tugging at cut strings.
where is our engine now, they howl.
where is our engine now.

I said I lived to find the door
that opens, pouring out gold light
it may be true, but more, but more
true is that I must live to write

must build me a machine
build a machine in me
or one will grow soon as I turn my back
clickety clack
for I know and I know and I know
I go too slow, too slow, too slow
if I let speed, vibrations shake me,
rattle me apart, I'll have to start
over again, pink, naked in a mountain
of switches and levers and cold blunt
angled metal shapes wound through
with vine, live mice in bent wheels, tangles
of wire that wave their twisted little ends
like worm-heads probing for soft
cool earth or the roots of plants in
hyperfast stop-motion. this machine lives.
even the dead parts live; it thirsts, I thirst
I am hungry and tired and I crave
every element
tungsten and water, hydrogen and sunlight,
plasma and iron and the sound of a violin
played on a subway platform in a dream.

sleep is food and dreams fuel the machine
that manufactures dreams
that I ratchet together with wet spare parts,
screwdrivers and twine, bloody calluses
and time, time, time that you love
and it's time, time, time
to pour into the ground and lay down

till it blooms

it blooms