from Held by Adam Fieled

I couldn’t decide.
            She was mine

                                                            in a letter left beneath
                                                                                      my pillow—

                                    “everything seems to be pointing at you”

being held
was hard
for me. I
             did not like
             being encompassed
             by anyone. N,
             deep in her
             Scorpio soul,
             wanted me, totally.

                                                            (out she rushed, crying)

black sleeveless shirt. tongues touching:
two tongues: pure weirdness. gross,
thrilling weirdness. but I couldn’t get
out of her mouth. all of me was in there.

tracing the radius— too limited

it started then—
has always been—
the charm of (an) Other—
stops possession-wheels…

                                                (on a trampoline, Alexis’s yard)
                                                                                    “my brother’s home”
                                                                                    jealous scummy brother
                                                                                    who wound up with N.
                                                                                    “let’s go inside”

                                    but Alexis was not total
                                    I had abandoned total
                                    possession: now I missed it—

                                                            Volkswagon Jetta
                                                            (get in, that’s it)
                                                            (was it even a kiss?)

Office boy, Post & Schell
     Law Offices needed me
            shock (swish, honk, screech!)
                        of wide streets,
            downtown Philly summer
I remember walking
            through Rittenhouse
                        everyone meant mystery
                                    (fruit salad, $2.00, Korean vendor)
Stopping into Borders
     reading of rock stars
         (bodies, powders, TV)
(but I said no to pot in eighth grade)

                        Lee gave me twenty
                        new records, and then
                        learning licks
                        replaced girls,
                        encompassed me—
                                    bending the third was fine,
                                    vibrato was murder—
One night I went
            with Andre to
                        an astrologer: front porch, vines, Roxborough,
                        coffee, desserts, darkness. she told me this:
                        Venus in Capricorn (cardinal earth) is sensual.
                        I liked to hear it; Andre’s mom was miffed at
                        the intrusion (the visit was for her.)

                                                I would do sit-ups for hours,
                                                            masturbate to Claudia Schiffer—
                                                                  imagining total sex,
                                                                        dream dreamy dreaminess—

(also dreams of Dad chasing me)
always the same summer-ending:
maybe this year would be OK,
things fall into place,
perfectly, maybe, get ready—


Shorts, tucked-in Polo—
      (get up to run at 5 am)
            I felt ready, equipped

for vagaries of Cheltenham High School
       (strange sense of unease)
                                                            creep down hallways
                                                            strangely empty of
                        (john mcgrath makes jokes about my shorts)
                                                                        (but I have hooked up)

there was chris
my new buddy
product of divorce
                                    football after school
                                                (I’m a decent wide receiver,
                                                            timid about tackling)

                                    but why did flirting
                                                with sue smith go nowhere?

somewhere along the line
                        I had lost my nerve
            perhaps from hurting n.—

most days after school
acting as an understudy
to a fat kid with rich
parents, in good with all
                                    the administrative big-wigs—

                                                I had a sense of
                                                being “out of it”
                                                “whose life is it anyway?”
                                                I hated the director
                                                                        petty tyrant
                                                                        five-feet high
                                                                        thick-rimmed glasses
                                                                        slicked-back hair
                                                                                    dumb exercises
                                                                                    I clammed up
                                                                                    wouldn’t talk

but on guitar
I had completed
a master’s thesis
on Eric Clapton,
                        minoring in Peter Green (no band, nobody,
                                                                 resounding deadness
                                                                 echoed against
                                                                 my wails)

One night Chris & I
            snuck out after midnight
                 went through people’s yards
            (daring each other to piss on them)
                        (and we did)

Glenside Library, midnight,
            “wish we had a joint so bad”
                        instinct to vandalize
            (wading through twigs in a thicket)
                        (bungalows with dark windows)

                                                                        next morning
                                                                        we walked miles                                                                                                              to get guitar strings
                                                                        for me—
                                                                        chris was pissed

            (Cheltenham lost the football game that day)

                                                back into silence
                                                            no hope of hook-ups

working the door
at the play
after waiting
to do it—

Old Farm Road had a second floor porch—
            it was right next to the high school,
                        sound of the practicing school band,
                                    smell of burning leaves—

            (every night Cheers with Mom over dinner)
                                                (lots of baked potatoes
                                                 I hated them
                                                 pork chops
                                                 frozen steaks
                                                 ben & jerry’s
                                                 no cable TV for us—)

            cast party
            I couldn’t
            make conversation
            struck dumb
            by the fakeness
            of everyone
            (Holden Caulfield, I felt)
                        (home be 10:30 pm,

                                    they all partied ‘til later—)