an amnesiac remembers some things better than others.
one past life I was a subway conductor
the Chicago subway system.
another I was--Gosh, I forgot!
some years ago, I was run over
a sports car. Ever since that time
find I cannot go more than a few days
leaving my body at least briefly
then coming back to it. Again and again.
can't seem to stay in Chicago or in any city,
that matter, and in one body,
once wrote a forty-nine line poem
up entirely of first lines, forty-nine beginnings.
Beginnings" it was called.
once met a young mother who had gone fishing
her two children. Coming up from the bottom
Lake Michigan, I got tangled up in their lines
they pulled me out and saved my life.
woman was my wife and the children were my children.
love, it's always as if it were happening
the first time," I said after ten years of marriage.
a woman chooses an amnesiac as her husband,
has to expect things like that," she laughed.
there's a lot to be said
ten years of foreplay."
Instructor in Modern Poetry, I once lectured
four weeks as if each class was the first class
a new year. When the genial Chairman,
my classes, the occasion of his being there
me the opportunity to teach
if those classes, too, were new classes.
given a raise, a bonus and a new two-year contract,
I was confused. Each class I taught became one
an infinite series of semesters, each semester
no more than fifty minutes.
don't know about you, but I hardly unpack
get ready for this lifetime and it's time
move on to the next. I've been reincarnated three times,
am forty-nine years old and I don't even know my own name. History is just
one of those things
learn to live without. I live in a city
entire population of which is made up of amnesiacs
for the first time in three lifetimes I feel at home.