HOW TO LEAVE A PARTY (VARIATIONS) by ADRIAN SOBOL

1.
I’ve been ghosting
since the first

grave

2.
I found this unopened
instructional videotape
on how to do some pretty
killer karate moves

If this is how we fall
in love, so be it

I’m ready
to be kicked
in the face
with a beam of light

3.
The gnostics had a word
for every word
describing our universe’s
constant state

of sexual arousal

it appears on a list
of new exhibits
at the Museum
of Everyday Life®

4.
I have a vast network now
I know people in Cincinnati
why the dead grass grows in their lawns

I once had a kiss
so bad I kept coming
back to it
drove half the country down
some backshit road
not on any map to have it

put new cracks in my teeth

5.
My doctor tells me to have a goal
to be limber

I’m trying to touch my toes
in the future
I’m told
there will be dancing

yes, a little dancing
just enough
to lift up the sky

6.
A man on a tightrope has died
but not like you might expect

in his pocket
he had a new kind of poem

it’s the first of its kind
the first with feathers
the first with hollow bones
you’re thinking bird

don’t

7.
Open threat: I’ll sing “Hallelujah”
at karaoke

I’ll sing the lost verses too
forgive me, Leonard

you were not meant in my palm
to be a weapon

8.
I hold a knife
the music it plays across
the seafloor is beautiful

I love its song
I’ve learned almost half the words

When I’m done you can bury me

I want to see what’s underneath
you all the time

9.
Listen, we have two instincts: killer & basic
dress appropriately
take account of yr limbs
where you leave them
each night
in the next room
as feathers rain around your bed
an unspeakable horror washes its feet

10.
I want to tell you
about the curtain
I’ve cut eyeholes into & stood
behind

I was never a painter
but I could tell you were out
of proportion

from this angle

the floor doesn’t appear
to be flooding

this isn’t important
but the coffee table
has floated away

11.
I grow bored
I construct
an elaborate social experiment
I pretend to be one whole person

I don’t tell anyone
no one knows

I stand in the rain & think
what if this was blood
I look up to see

today, it is


Adrian Sobol is a Polish immigrant living in Oakland.

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