Excerpted from Colby’s latest book, Splash State
I would like to settle the score
by brushing your hair until you go
into a trance from being soothed
by the gentle stroking of the brush
in my hand that provides the relaxing
sensation you so adore and crave.
Then I would like to make you a sandwich.
You’re exhausted. You tell me you’re
exhausted, so you should sleep;
and not worry that I’ll write on
your face with a Sharpie,
or devise some trick that will piss you off,
like building a fake body out of pillows
under the covers when you get up at night to pee,
or startling you in the morning
by hiding in the shower.
I’m beyond that sort of stuff
now that you’re here with me
letting me brush your hair.
Field Guide to Plants of the North
One of my summer favorites is Fink Leaf,
which is best used as a shout propellant; much
like a telephone, but without the batteries
or the acid. This fiery, medicinal leaf
can be used to dye clothing and treat ailments, like drama cough
or work fever. Try the Tumbler Bell Flower
for sleep passion; or Shark’s Paw for petroleum
gashes. In the shallow dirt near the shrubs around a house
foundation, find the Lime Seed for eye strain
and noise reduction (or enhancement). During the autumn months,
I always keep a satchel of Devil’s Paw handy,
in case of a gestural flaw, like giving finger
or blistering thumb. When winter rolls around,
I steep Blue Bonnet in a whiskey tea, which
is both sustainable and ecstatic; when used
to heighten conversation and observation.
For me, spring is the best time to roll out
the Flip Daisy: a round, slightly powdered
vacancy inducer, best used in 12-hour portals
for euphoric problem solving and garden wandering.
All of the above plants are rear stabilizers, meaning
they possess kinked alkaloids that groove to menace,
which is a lot like bathing in half air, half water.
My screen name is, “Fast Learner.”
I can use a computer and send links.
I’ve used a remote control, a microwave,
Microsoft Word, microfiche, a microscope,
Retail Pro, a chamois and a Swiffer.
I can identify fennel, rhododendrons,
wisteria, tulips, and overpronation.
I know that a red drink, known as a Shirley Temple,
is a real treat in certain circles. I know that
a bag of almonds does not constitute dinner,
though it has on more than one occasion. I know
that when I think someone wants to kiss me,
I’m usually right. I know that when I take too
many vitamins my stomach hurts. I’ve washed dishes,
and made eggs the French way. I’ve used Dawn, Clorox,
Diptyque, Serge Lutens, and Le Labo.
I’ve walked along the water, bumped the crap out of my head,
stubbed my toe on that fucking end table, and dusted under
the bed. I like Werner Herzog and chocolate granola.
I would like to get to know you better.
Todd Colby‘s latest book of poetry is Splash State (The Song Cave, 2014). He is the author of six collections of poetry, including Tremble and Shine (Soft Skull Press, 2004), Riot in the Charm Factory: New and Selected Poems (Soft Skull Press, 2003), and Flushing Meadows (Scary Topiary Press, 2013). He keeps a blog at gleefarm.blogspot.com.