Tao Lin Poems




The Poem I Wrote In My Room After We Fought On The Internet And You Called Me A Dick And Said You Had To Go To Sleep And Said You Would Email Me Over Thanksgiving From Home But Then Said ‘Forget It’ After I Said About You Emailing Me Over Thanksgiving From Home That ‘I Doubt It’


A metal rod a lot longer than my head

can fit easily in my head. 

I don’t want to think about it.  I want to rearrange furniture

using telekinesis.  I will make my bed

go through a wall.  My bed will bump people

at Whole Foods, in the cereal aisle.  ‘Sorry,’ my bed will say, and feel ashamed.

And cereal will feel ashamed.  But what would happen

if you were a non-sentient being.  And I was god. 

I think an unrelated third-party would suffer. 

I think I would like to break all the secret records. 

The one for most consecutive days of quality over quantity. 

Or just into your email

account.  Because I like you very much, it is sad


that if I were you

you would be someone else.  A disaster I think just happened

in the room that I am currently in.  But I didn’t see.  And it was sleeping

when it happened.  And it didn’t happen.  Carp had a secret. 

It involved a beautiful muffin, a reoccurring dream,

and a kind of yearning that causes muffin shops to go non-profit.

Carp don’t have that anymore.  Last week I saw TV snow when no TV was in the room. 

I was staring at my pillow.  My head was on it.  When I was four

I stabbed live fish

in their faces.  Every fish I stabbed

went to secret heaven.  Secret heaven is the one where

the other heaven is called secret heaven.  At night in secret heaven no one knows what to do.

Sometimes in secret heaven everyone is afraid of secret heaven. 

My bed is thinking about secret heaven. 




Washington Mutual Is A Bank That Is Everywhere


I had an urge one hour ago.  To write poems

that make no sense, and

I felt happy.  Stabbed

by hooded black youth.

Shocked by the willingness of grade-schoolers

to kill me.  And eat my heart.  The things that do not happen to me

each day.  I feel

like shit.  My life

is good, fantastic.  I am not deformed.  Thank you. 


There should be something about you

in this poem.  But


there is just me, being stupid.

Putting shampoo on things.  My roommate’s shampoo.  Uncouth.  My heart

is a bar of soap.  White, flashing.  Soap

is clean.  Admit it.  That it will kill you

if you eat it

probably.  I mean, look

at this poem.  Where are you.  I love life.  November.  Wonderful.  The sun.  A cloud

just said something.  I don’t know what it said.

I wasn’t paying attention.  I don’t care.






Tao Lin's collection of poetry, You Are a Little Bit Happier Than I Am, will be published by Action Books in October, 2006; his collection of stories, Bed, will be published by Melville House in Spring, 2007; and a chapbook will be published by Future Tense Books in Summer, 2006.  Tao is the author of This Emotion Was a Little E-Book and his web site is Reader of Depressing Books. He lives in New York City.




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