I commit to poems the second that I begin writing them,
And here I am committing to this one,
My cursor on the screen
Tap tap tapping like tap-roots across it’s blue-glowing surface.
With every push of every button,
I begin seeing the blue light
As more than it is. I begin seeing it as a poem.
The blue light that illuminated the Never Sink sinkhole
Was not from a screen.
Nor was it from glowworms.
As I write on this screen though, there is that same blue light
With me still. It is
Streaming from the walls of the cavern,
Still massaging the bags of tiredness
That hang beneath my eyelids to remind me
Of where I just was, having *** with my ex-girlfriend,
And of all the places that I was before that: to remind me
Of the blue lights in Never Sink,
The sinkhole that is 120 feet wide and 170 feet deep that I
Climbed out of on a rope and in the dark,
Which was anything but dark—an unlocked lock
Sat in my driveway after I got home
From having *** with my ex-girlfriend tonight,
And there, in that lock, was a comparison to or an analogy for or a metaphor of
My climb out of Never Sink: gradual ascension
And then a moment
Of absolute awe and profundity so unlike any other profundity
That the clarity I felt absolutely throughout my body tonight
Can only really be brought into my mind with full force
Through a comparison and analogy and metaphor
To, for, and of the blue lights
That that temple provided us. Looking into that lock’s
Reflective gleam, I discovered that I felt
The way I’d felt ever since climbing out of Never Sink, which was exactly
How I’d spent the past year or so wanting to feel.
“Bring me,” I said to Duane, who went with me to Never Sink,
“To the hole in the ground
Where the blue light glows; where the glow-worms lightly blaze” and Duane
Said “okay” and he brought me there without
My ever having to say those words. And then,
In the moments after the sun went down we discovered
That the glowworms were not glowworms but
Armillaria mellea, a bioluminescent fungus.
Not glowworms but Armillaria mellea,
Which rose through and across the cave walls, coating the rock
With its skin. The whole pit was covered in that skin—the skin
Of that single individual.
As I methodically climbed out of the sinkhole on my rope, I felt that
Fungus (that individual) extending
Its black shoelace looking taproots into my lungs too,
And into my skin,
Where I was but where
I wasn’t quite yet. Where I was but
Where I couldn’t yet describe to myself without the use of glowworms—
Without the use of made-up and childish sounding words
Like Depropheria, which I wrote a book about but which
I never really understood, and I, the whole concept of which is flawed,
Feel like I could be the plant on Joe’s counter,
Which he said I already am.
Because if my “I” was in all of its molecules and its “I” was in all of my molecules
Then we would both just be exactly what we already were, Joe said, and so
By the very logic I extended in posing the question
I was and am the plant.
I could be Armillaria mellea too
But what am I if I think that I am glowworms? but really
The glowworms are fungus, and while I ****** my ex-girlfriend tonight, falling
Further into the space away from her, I was also
Scraping away at the walls of Never Sink
To see the tiny little hairs that revealed to Duane and I what really was there,
The Armillaria mellea, of course, but how could something so different
(“**** me, Daniel,” she said, “I feel you inside of me, I want you.”
“**** me,” I said
“I feel myself inside of you, I”)
Be the thing that I am? I would never
Stop the car because I saw something shining on my driveway.
And I would never
Open the car door
And step out into the night with the engine running.
Step out into the night to find an
Lying there on the pavement while the song that I tried to live all year
Called In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel blasts loudly
From my Buick’s speakers. Step out into the night
With that song blaring through my open car door, surely waking
My soon to be empty-nested mother from her sleep behind
That second story window
Right up ahead.
I did those things though—I
Stopped the car because I saw something shining on my driveway, and I
Did those things.
I am glow-worms.
I am, and so
I am the plant on Joe’s counter, and so
I can be a glow-worm.
I can be what I already am without knowing or comprehending that I am it.
I can be the whole universe.
I am the whole universe.
I saw over one hundred salamanders at the bottom of Never Sink.
And I saw four different species of salamanders at the bottom of Never Sink.
And I saw six different species of frogs, and I saw
Three brown rat snakes, which thankfully were not copperheads, but which
Could have been glowworms that were copperheads,
I guess. If you ask Joe, anyway. I’m not sure
I believe it fully
Even though when you strip away sentimental definitions of “I”
It’s pretty **** convincing. He was convincing.
I danced around Joe’s counter (where the plant sat, even then)
In September. At the time,
The counter was quickly becoming Alex’s counter,
Because I was becoming close friends with Alex,
And because Alex was Joe’s little sister, and because
Joe had left for the college he’d drop out of,
And during his hiatus from what he’d wanted to run from
It was just
Alex’s counter. It is Joe’s counter again now,
Because Alex has a dumb boyfriend who she likes to kiss
And doesn’t really like to ****
But who she does **** anyway and as a result
Doesn’t really like spending much time not ******* me anymore.
Anyway, I danced
Around Joe’s counter in September, when it was becoming Alex’s counter,
And I sank songs like In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
With all my new friends. I thought that I
Was living those songs
Because, if my “I” was in the molecules that vibrated when the song played,
And the “I” of those molecules was in me
Then I would be those songs and those songs would be me.
Being the songs wasn’t the same as living the songs, though.
Rising out of Never Sink I saw myself
Reflected in the blue dots of light that Armillaria mellea created.
I saw that I hadn’t been living everything
That I was; I saw that I was the blue dots then, but I also saw
That I didn’t know that the blue dots weren’t glowworms.
When I was dancing
Around Joe’s counter, I didn’t yet know the words
To In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel.
But all my new friends were singing those words, and so I
Screamed out barely-syllabic nonsense
With a smile on my face,
Speaking like a baby who recognizes the existence of language
But can’t yet put it into use.
Rising out of Never Sink
The whole cave opened up, as more and more levels of the sinkhole
Were revealed to be stars and galaxies
Of blue fungus to climb through.
Rising out of Never Sink, I held in my hand
The unlocked lock which I would use later
To weight my pocket as I would sit with these bags of tiredness hanging
Writing this poem late at night on the screen illuminated
By the blue lights of Never Sink. To weight my pocket
As I would sit writing this poem, with
***** excreted thirty minutes prior still resting on my ****
Like the name I haven’t yet learned to call her—
Caterina, Caterina, why did she change it? Maria
Was so pretty, why did she change her name, it was
To get away from me, it was to get away from me like
I wanted to get away from her, it was to get away from me it was
Because she always hated the name Maria. And
To grow more confident in herself
She needed to become
Caterina. She needed to rebrand herself like she worked on rebranding
That company’s logo for her senior thesis project in high school
When I first fell in love with her because
Glowworms lit up Never Sink at night.
They were glowworms in Never Sink
Because the glowworms are fungus
And I am the glowworms.
If you ask Joe.
I want to take some time now to describe
Rising out of Never Sink
Without giving any time
To the lock I found in my drive-way this evening, or
To Joe’s counter-top and how I danced around it knowing
That it wasn’t his but that it was him,
Or to the remnants of Maria, Caterina, and I which are all I, and which
Stick to my ***** still. Never Sink is a sinkhole
That is 170 feet deep
And 120 feet wide at its top.
I went spelunking in Alamaba, Georgia, and/or Tennesse last week
Where I never knew which state or time zone I was in,
And where an annoying but charming guy named Glenn
Led me and my best friend through epic places of infinite beauty.
One of those places was Never Sink,
Which is a sinkhole that is
170 feet deep and
120 feet wide at its top. We repelled into Never Sink
Because Glenn wanted to show us the glowworms
(Which were fungus that were glowworms that were
**** it) and because my friend Duane, who is my best friend, who is
A 39 year-old factory worker who worries that he is much older than he is,
Wanted to see the glowworms too.
We found over a hundred salamanders in Never Sink
And Duane and I discovered that it wasn’t glowworms
That illuminated the pit, but Armillaria mellea, which is a fungus, and
It was very cool.
But ascending through Never Sink was more than very cool,
And it was much more than fungus,
Just as the fungus which I took into my body in August (which it
Almost is again now) after the summer music festival was more
Than just fungus. That fungus was more than just fungus because
I took it into my body right after breaking up with Maria-Caterina (who
I can’t not talk about) For Good (which was
The name of a song they sang
At Maria-Caterina’s high school graduation a year ago, after which
We made love (which was what we called it
Because we were cliché and in love
(Which is what we made.)))
It was a spiritual journey through the cosmos,
In Never Sink,
Or at least that’s how it felt,
And when I climbed out of Never Sink’s mouth, I hugged Duane
And he hugged me and we
Thought that it was beautiful.
I am the plant in Joe’s kitchen.
I am glowworms.