By Ian Collins
I’ve allowed my head a slow twenty-nine years to arrive at this exact point.
I’ve been patient, watching fog roll into the ears and
stagnant ponds develop behind the eyes. Watched it go foreign,
in a foreign place, where it sometimes forgets it’s a head.
Early on it was sorta like a hummingbird interrogating flowers in the early morning.
Now it’s more like a moth that’s gotten lost in a labyrinth, flittering around on
cold drafts in the dark, tiny mind brimming with florescent light tube trimming.
My head, age 29, hears the body’s heartbeat when resting against a pillow
and instead of following rhythm it searches for pauses that seem fractions
of a second too long and then wonders if it’s still covered by state health insurance.
I’ve pierced it and exposed it to traumatic injury and warehouse fires.
It’s seen dead bodies and endured harsh feedback from amplifiers,
and with the body’s help it’s even grown accustomed to porn at its most gonzo.
It was stabbed by a quick needle once on the steps of my highschool
where it bled for an hour, dying the hair where there’s now
less hair. Where the follicles began yawning from been-there-done-that..
Through my head has passed alcohol, pills, powders, and smokes from various sources,
It’s been a container for scents and flavors and sober psychedelic impressions.
An idiotic circus where every performer is the same monkey
who changes costumes at the speed of light.
I sometimes feel an urge to toss my head through open windows at night;
spy on families dining from awkward angles in the shadows of houseplants.
But then, I can’t just knock on a door without my head and politely
ask to retrieve my head.
When the heart feels blue, my head seems like it’ll simply roll off the neck.
The neck supports my head. My head entertains the idea that
the neck is its roman pedestal, but lacks the range of motion to
see that it’s actually pencil-thin and two inches too long.
My head is full of
Spanish verb conjugations, Steven Wright jokes,
names of writers I’ll never read, Korn lyrics, memories of American deserts,
Japanese joinery, clothing combinations.
My own voice saying “Fuck you.”
My own voice saying “It’s cool.”
My head is full of
my fears and my needs, which surprisingly often are the same thing.
A nightmare about my mom in a vegetative state, which lingers to this day.
A desire for money and time and a slow boat ride
through the evil whale’s mouth at Disneyland.
For the past 29 years, I’ve had nothing better to do than hold my head
up in front of things and say “Look. Remember.”
At times I display
My head wide open like a flower and let people poke around inside
like honey bees. Many don’t find the nectar they’re looking for and buzz
off real quick. But I don’t mind them,
they’ve got their own heads to deal with.
Ian Collins is a laborer from the California desert. He has lived in Mexico City since the eve of 2019, where he kicks rocks and awaits the right words.