I wash my brain with laughter, or get it done at the library, 

where the books wait in their stacks, feigning frivolity 

for the sake of my habits and addictions. We used to think


the mind could become orderly, clean, but then comes 

Freud with his Oedipal shoes and penile eraser heads. Sure 

felt like home to me. My mother never seemed the same.


And my father believed me. Which explicitly explains 

how books communicate with each other thru the unconscious 

minds of authors on one level, their readers’ on another.


My books read me, place my involuntary self open

on the author’s shelf of receptions. Disaster scenarios aside, 

what did you have for breakfast tomorrow, or the next day?


The answer has already astonished your future memories, 

depending on when you are. And whether you accept 

that the items on your grocery list are plotting to erase you


during sleep. If you don’t believe it, you’ve obviously never 

read Lord of the Flies. Like the indiscernible transition

from a scream into a howl, we all have squeeze-toy arms


ready to fold space. Listen, when I was a turtle, I put away 

turtle things, and now that I’m a man I still feel nudges

from the shape-shifters, their plastic fingers posing under


this cumbersome shell. Odd how even the rain, with its tiny 

hands, becomes what it touches. And this poem with its prayer 

of ancient trees, its gentle encyclopedia of unknowing.