I Do Not Tire Quicklyby Katie Degentesh
Even if your heart is messy, I will clean it up.
I have no sense of touch, I do not hear the events around me
and haven’t even had a fever for many years.
Since I started using I find I can be much more precise
I take medicine to fix problems caused by my
burning up energy foolishly as I did when I was trying
to arrange life to suit myself
As soon as the light comes in, I go to play tennis.
Talking listlessly into my hand,
I am able to inhale much more deeply
to work longer and fill more baskets
I now go for long walks with my dog.
No hurt or fear penetrates my heart.
My elbow is better now too,
and my neck and my numb thumb
belong to disgraced executives of Enron
They try to turn a wartime walkie
into the beginning of scientific Islamic research
They get angry, flustered, desperate
and even consumed over other humans.
and even though I haven’t won a game yet (!!!)
the breath of life is vivid and arresting
I like to think in hours instead of days
when I eat, when I rest from a day’s work, later in my bed, and so on.
Bertolt Brecht must not be seen
hoping and un-hoping among so many crickets
armed with slingshots and cap guns,
his secrets kept safe in snow forts
He is the main reason I watch this schlock.
The muscles in my arms are starting to show
Then the sun comes out to admire its shapes
Each cut is a treasure.
I live among them and they breathe forth fire
and dogma-spewing Dynasty toadies
I no longer have restless leg
The unusual still pursues me
Unfortunately, tennis has become a rarity
Or I would be the first to join the Communist party
When the battles of the mountains are behind us.
KATIE DEGENTESH lives in New York City . Her poems and writings have appeared in Shiny, Fence, the Poetry Project Newsletter and numerous other venues. "I Do Not Tire Quickly" is part of a book-length series forthcoming from Combo Books in Spring 2006. Each poem in the series is titled with a question from the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) and constructed with the help of Internet search engines.