For Jon, my dissecting admirer.
The way she faced into the future
Like a tight lipped cat smiling into vice.
Tiger stripes came across the flannel lawn,
Drowned pine needles in honeycomb steel.
The Autumn makes her bones ache, the changing leaves always seem to ail her joints. ‘Arthritis,’ she explains, though she’s twenty two and draws tall glances wherever she walks, the elegance of each step revealing the smooth edge of a curious bone, indebted eyes silently following, calling to unholy gods for a wardrobe malfunction. Horticulture, I call her, svelte like a passive rose, making her way from garden to garden, stealing the souls of daisies and june bugs alike.
The poets are striking! The poets are striking! The first world horror! It’s driven them mad! The same stanzas wrung around their necks like cosmopolitan nooses, trite Gods betrayed by their own creations! They’ve all gone high on the terrace now, vying for the same sunset, jotting similar clauses on clipboards, rubbing shoulders and shoving into the passage of light. These harmless beings so incomplete, so rash, piece by piece they paint a setting sun, and for what? A stake in eternity? So hungry for survival, it makes one think of ten children in a gulag brawling over a piece of stale bread.
A poem for the insignificant, like an insect sprawled on its back, I’m flailing up to heaven with jazzy hands, praying that a gust of wind would call me to my feet. I am but a chess piece in the eyes of a child, see the hand that plays? See me through a window writing letters, each scribble like a glob of grape jelly spread on toast, gnawed on by incredulous eyes, expelled and returned to sender. Ants marching, single file; can you tell each one apart by what they carry? One a jagged leaf like the blade of a knife; another, a sun toasted caterpillar corpse, its hundred toes faced towards the sky as if offering up a prayer.
And there she was, an ice sculpture in the new fallen snow. One would think her eyes were cold enough when she was young, but the winters aged her, she hobbles now, defecates on new generations with her wrinkled lips. So she’d rather do yoga than ecstasy, rather bake a cake than do a line of blow, rather play a game of bingo than test her fate in roulette. She’s betrayed her generation, cast her drought upon the merry fields! O’ sweet Benedict, your beauty digs its claws into the past. When we staked our claim at birth, did we know it’d be up to us?
The sky is masked in pink baby lips crying catechisms.
Jack the Ripper is the best man at my wedding.
With animal alertness, he’s eyeing the bridesmaids,
Daydreaming of swatting them like fruit flies.
Do you see that there? Where are our coats?
Acid rain falls like prospector tears, melts the lonely priest.
Blasphemy! All you pornographic peace lickers!
Nephilim! Bastards of Yahweh! Fallen angels!
Tear your robes! Eat your flesh! Wallow in your pyrrhic victory!
Dear anxiety, prozac brulee, failed piss test epoxy, xylophone of sketchy xanax, oxycodone entrapment, acid intrinsic waves, pot wetter than freshly licked lips, we’re glamorous poems now, trapped in the runoff of storm drains, hear our rapturous flow? The winters bring us icy rain, sleet, filth preened pre melted snow, cigarette ends, positive pregnancy nerves, wasted eyes vomiting at the feet of worried parents. We can’t see past the hollyhocks, past the town homes, past gothic doors to open wounds, past rising heights of exception like the spire of an abbey. Give me liberty or give me a black mass, just as I cat call to demons, amorously pull at pointed tails, hug flames with herculine arms as if a valiant spouse has returned from a treacherous tour. O’ fallen children, each subtle star like a freckle in the face of time, what can you do but cast a phrase into the emptiness?
A fortune cookie on the floor of
A chinese restaurant,
Cracked, uneaten, covered in mire as if stepped
On by dirty boots.
The fortune reads, ‘Today, you will meet your true…’
A violet stain obscures the final word. Meanwhile,
A worker guillotines broccoli florets, his face beaded
With sweat, glistening white in a cellophane glow.
Smells circulate the air, chow mein, orange chicken,
Musty grease and soy sauce, strong perfume from a
Fellow patron; Like an unanswered question,
It lingers in the room; faintly it grips the nostrils…