Bag Of Mice
by Nick Flynn
I dreamt your suicide note
was scrawled in pencil on a brown paperbag,
& in the bag were six baby mice. The bag
opened into darkness,
from the top down. The mice,
huddled at the bottom, scurried the bag
across a shorn field. I stood over it
& as the burning reached each carbon letter
of what you'd written
your voice released into the night
like a song, & the mice
How uncouth it has become! The dream. The suicide. Absurdity. Why, what then should be spoken of, after the critics and the aesthetes have sanctioned and restricted the interests and motivations of poets?
I read Nick Flynn on occasions when I desire the impossible, the surreal. However, much is attached to those words too. This is not the surreality of Breton. Instead, the curious moments come from expressing a synthesis of events that is unmanageable.
Imagine a bag, full of mice, that is at once burning and bearing an entirely legible message, as it is transported across a field. And then imagine trying to read and communicate the sound of the voice of a friend, a lover, who has just taken his own life. Yeah, they are both difficult to wrap one’s mind around.
Additionally, Nick Flynn will be reading at Poets House in Lower Manhattan on October 2nd. I would recommend attending.