Chilled Pieces, Driveling Preludes (for
a Dog), Dried up Embryos…
The biography of her would be like a ladder you had to fall
from. You'd be filthy from the effort. Bruises on your entire body. Your
head might swim. Tears come to your eyes. The limbs might get stuck in a
praying position. The motion of kneeling forever entangled with the notion
of her. Her life would be a large room you could gather in. After the
fact. You might stare for years at the ceiling. Like her. You might look
at yourself and laugh. At her.
It would be too late to do anything. Weeds already overgrown.
Erect a statue you might. That would be nice. o mound. Words pressed in
sand. Are there still hands under that dirt? A mind that works? You might
find aisles to walk down. Kicking up the dirt and spying. Wondering.
looking down at the
body of your wife
You are any man looking down at the body of your wife. Not
dead. Evidence of a capful of whiskey. Drunk in the honor of the Irish. O
do not refuse to get drunk! A greater mistake never made. We are talking
of the kind of surrender. That aches. An aroma of the breath of your loved
one. She lies there. Innocent in unconsciousness. Those are the children.
The ones in no throes. Feet without shoes. Long and slender hanging. A
hand on the rug. Lying there. In another world and in love. Beautiful mist
that comes upon us. Then do some men weep for the future. The sturdiness
all gone. The brawny evenings washed ashore. Their one and only boat. So
knocked about. She who braved the rancid sea. Think about her now. With
whiskey bottles all around. It's a theme. A plot of slipshod steps. A
widening stamina. Deep in the valley of the gentle streams. Huge heroes
are like us. Although high on a horse. O come from the Indian plains. I
will remember a poem in the honor of your neck.
Hard mountain I tended to
fall off. I could see my limbs already nicely buried. Even back then. Hear
the hammering. Feel the delicate ants. Their soft feet pitter patter.
There's a verse that goes through my head. I'll keep the words to myself.
The next morning the sun
is shining. It shines through the ground and wakes me up. Death bed that
feels so comfortable! The birds sing. A lonely woman walks beneath all the
chirping. I see flowers in her hand. She goes to a stone marked with a
name. Bluebirds fall in trumpet-like formations above her. Bright feathers
touch her clothes and hair as she bows. Her hand touches her mouth. I can
taste the eggs she ate this morning.
My fate was to assume the
bragging position of one who fears everything. That way nothing was
shocking. I woke in the morning to the bombardment of small animals
eating, mating, washing. Their noises drove me to my medicine cabinet. The
way they sang and chattered. I tore at my hair. I swallowed whole pills to
escape the meaning. The vision of the land pressed in outside my window.
And when real people stuck their heads in... I was too weak to close the
Grant me this at least.
That now my eyes are open. I cannot move. But my eyes are open. And into
the clear passage of my ears now enter their songs. I can hum along and
stare for hours at their beautiful bodies. As they bend over. As they
stare at the stones. The chemicals in me have all melted. Nothing human
left but this strong desire to feel a feather graze my brow.
yo muse of my throat!
come from your ghetto land
bring me a dollar
on your way up
the dirty flight
where once we stopped
to kiss on necks
bring me some ice
O muse from below
come up from the hysterical avenue
where young boys shout brown things
get outta my way!
O muse from the 100th depth
come up from that place where you've stuck yourself
black bodies kicking dust
white bodies kicking stone
young bodies picking fights
pick me my very own bud!
come from that littered land
where I kept my heart in my boots
walking straight out into that three a.m. street
a dollar in my hand
for my muse
the one I dream about
the one I got holed up
we'll take a train!
O muse we'll close our eyes and force the track
crawl up the flight
the stained, slippery stairs
up to my door
where scribbled on the wall
is that name of yours
singing about cognac
bless me, boys!
raise me onto the table!
a hard wooden statue
I am harder than metal
harder than steel
harder than you, boys!
kiss my face, boys!
lick my tears!
undress me slowly
first the shirt oh how the heart hums
its stately attire is grace
bless my brains, boys!
for I have dreamed of you
up in that dark place
Shakespeare I ain't
but his words to muses
can make me stop in shock and wonder
and repeat fine poetry beneath my breath
bless my ass, boys!
for dead I ain't yet!
take my arms
and put me in yours
and while you're at it, boys
release my shoulders
from that heavy thing
that sits in rest
perched way upon it
heavy and hard, boys
oh it feels so much better!
I have been released
and now I am older
and look down at you young
boys in the bar
and hope for a glance
that will cause you to shudder
I can show you so much!
ye boys so dark
standing shoulder to shoulder
in the corner!
the gun that went off
I held you in my arms until I thought a fire would start and
metal flash and bombs burst
I pointed you toward the doorway
and shot down the old vase across the room
flowers fell everywhere
the petals seemed like they would never reach the floor
huge bees burst out of that noise
in shock struggling to reach the door
the vase touched the floor without breaking but the flowers
took a long time to reach it
some floated in a trance
beautiful blue ones with long dangling stems and puckered
yellow ones showing their age
and graceful strong ones with leaves like wings
a handful of lilies fell by the door
in great pretense they mimicked a heavy sleep
and shattered into a thousand pieces
that no one could rake
The last time we saw Christ he was on a large wooden dance
floor. Pigalle. Kicking up a storm. People leaning over--laughing. He had
a long nose--was wearing a skull cap. old men shoveling the vomit of youth
nearby. Having a good time. He got down on all fours and had a long laugh
at his own drunken heart. He showed us his belly. His hair stuck straight
out. His eyes were popping. Veins were clearly etched; he had opium on his
breath. Catholic women standing. Remember: do not kneel. Catholic women
with not a rose to offer. o the new world. What will be. Nude dancing on a
falling balcony. No clothes did he have on. Christ. Like you would
imagine--weighted not down--not him. A great dancer who never needed
lessons. I took his arm--how sweaty it was. Not so thin but there were
bones sticking out. I'm celebrating the aroma of wooden floors--the
knowledge of the pureness of dance halls now. There's a greatness in
Pigalle. I'm telling the truth. Him and others. With blondes and redheads.
Some were not men. Big deal--so what. Gods rising like so much smoke--
rainy French day with old bread and beggars mimicking lamp posts. The
roofs of churches knifing the sky. Poking the unreachable. In that
unbearable grayness--how his heels swirled! Walked up all night a hill.
Dreaming of dancing. He spoke French. He waved no flag. He had a good
time. That would end.
the lord said to me
through clenched teeth
the lord said to me through clenched teeth
the light kept flickering on and off
I thought I would start falling
stop gushing with feeling
he sent this old angel
old woman with black boots who smelled from whiskey and bread
enjoy life she said
put your heart behind you
her black teeth rotted as she spoke and fell from old lips
enjoy your life!
her voice crashed from beyond her
what color were her eyes?
O I cannot I cannot tell you
we all sat at a long wooden table
beneath a long window
from which streamed the saddest light
oceans of thick, sad light
pushing pupils to their limits
mine were opened wider than a snake's mouth
being pried by its trainer
O afternoon that gleams
our heads spun dizzy with lines of light
washed out halos
twelve of us with beer on our lips
thanking the lord for this and that
I got up to show a mate an old trick
that caused the bottle of beer
I was holding
to fall from my hands
and break on the old wooden table
later in my dreams
the foam became a jungle's river
where swimming I was able
to escape the light
the damn bright light
and rest in a fragrance of darkest night