Nick Piombino

Resistance and Transference



Something precedes it
and how it breaks my heart
that what I don't have
doesn't have me.
I'm applying for a job in eternity.

The hours are terrible but the duties are light
and only the furniture and love
lean on your molecules.
Oh, the embitterment
Oh, the tears cried for a birthday
and the endless waiting.
But it is mostly a trick
due to the kind of seizures
that accompany the holidays.

A portrait of salamanders on wood and glass.

Forgive me kind teacher,
For my miserable Spanish
my references to globules
both stout and slim.
You put them there anyway
Just to confuse me
(thought's honesty so abrasive)
I ought to just leave, and I do, and I will.
Just one moment!

Finally there's someone to give to
And there’s so much to give, I'm scared.
A simple decision . . . oh, that word!
I'm tired of it and also of the punctuation,
the pronunciation, light for light and dark for dark.

I'm exhausted, white against black, horrible screams,

white against yellow, brown against brown.
Who determines these things? Don't they listen?
A poet is a voice from the gutter,
a blubbering, terrified, lonely child.
How I gape.
How I stare and let my eyes grow large,
How impatient she is, in her crying,
How patient and irritable mother is,
Never tired of talking and listening.
The men accuse me, whispering and laughing.
Two pants legs, what a riot.
Voices and more voices, “Sturm und Drang.”

Noise isn't what's destroying these maniacs
it's sobbing.


They put me in jail and expect me to talk.
Whose kidding who?
Who is the therapist and who the artist?
This one you can never shut up
And the other one won't start talking.
Dialogue is impossible, better to use
A wet nurse and a television set.

If they use the word “transference” one more time I'm going to start screaming.

“Resistance” what a laugh.
It's like trying to make a
non-site out of bronze.
They ate chocolates instead,
They peel them from pages of Freud
and nibble. No one even steps in the hallway.
and walks around in here like
a neglected “borderline.”
Isn't anybody else sick of words?

Bite the hand that feeds you.

They're going after art with an ax.
Don't ask questions in here.
Shut up and please yourself.

Psychoanalyst and poet Nick Piombino's latest book is Contradicta: Aphorisms from Green Integer, with illustrations by Toni Simon. Other books include: fait accompli (Heretical Texts), Free Fall (Otoliths), Theoretical Objects (Green Integer), The Boundary of Blur (Roof) and Poems (Sun and Moon).