Home   :    About   :   Music   :   Poetry   :   Art   :   Comics   :    Films       Store   



07
Jun

POEM: Hot City Part 1.0 (How I Spent My Summer Vacation)

1.1
MEMORY PROXIMITY

RENAE,

I MEAN TO COMMUNICATE WITH WORDS,
TO LOCATE A PARTICULAR WOMAN IN A DIFFERENT TIME,

ASPIRING TO ADDRESS A WOMAN WHO IS NOT

DIFFERENT THAN

THE WOMAN THAT I WILLFULLY LOCK OUT OF THE ROOM.
I DESIRE ONE COORDINATE TO ENCOMPASS ALL EXPERIENCE.

I DID NOT/ DO NOT MEAN TO MAKE YOU CRY,
ONLY ISOLATE MYSELF FROM YOUR INFLUENCE
FROM YOUR IMAGINATION/ YOUR WORLD.

WORDS ISOLATE >

TO ASSESS/ TO CONTINUE/ TO ISOLATE

YOU,
THAT IS YOU AS AN EXAMPLE
TRAVELING A LONG DISTANCE UP
TO AVOID COORDINATES
TO MY HOME THAT HOT SUMMER TEN YEARS AGO.

TEN YEARS FROM COORDINATE POINT
ASKING TO PLAY WITH MY BOOKS/ MY TRAINS/ MY DOLLS/ MY SYMBOLS IN MY ROOM.

THE TEMPTATION TO MAKE PERSONAL EXPERIENCE ALLEGORY.

YOU ARE A GIRL. I DID NOT/ DO NOT WANT YOU TO INTERFERE.

AS IF I AM THE ONLY MAN THAT EXISTS.
KEEPING YOU OUT BECAUSE I CAN.

THEN I SEE YOU WEEPING ON THE BED IN MY MOTHER’S ROOM.
I TRY TO PASS BY QUICKLY SO THAT YOU CANNOT SEE ME.
ASHAMED. BUT IT IS TOO LATE, SO
I TURN AWAY.

I BEG YOUR FORGIVENESS.

IN A NO-FORUM FOR PERSONAL REQUESTS.

DURING A DESCENT TO ACCESS IDENTITY:

I AM IN VIRGINIA AGAIN. WHEN I WAS LITTLE I WOULD VISIT ALMOST EVERY YEAR,
BUT THE LAST TIME I WAS HERE WAS SIX YEARS AGO.

AS IF REPETITION WERE AN EXPLANATION –
CONSTANTLY CREATING METAPHORS >

I AM TRYING TO PLAY WITH MY COUSINS SIXTEEN YEARS AGO, MY
UNCLE LAWRENCE’S KIDS, BUT THEY ARE
MUCH OLDER THAN ME. SO IT IS DIFFICULT.
IMPOSSIBLE. IDENTITY IN TIME, CONTINUALLY IN FLUX.

MY MOTHER’S FAMILY, IN VIRGINIA FOR MANY GENERATIONS, MY
GREAT GRANDFATHER SIMPLY CALLED PA. MY GREAT GRANDMOTHER SIMPLY CALLED MA.

THINKING THAT PROXIMITY IS RELATED TO LOCATION >

AS IF WOMEN WERE SHAPED BY MEN.

Ignorant premise,
buried a hundred years ago,
as the train cracks the moutaintops,
PA with his wild west moustache fucking Ma,
all battered in dust wrinkled overalls,
as the locomotives tear new holes in the hills.

AS IF CREATION COULD OCCUR DURING DESTRUCTION.
AS IF HISTORY WAS RELATED TO PERSONAL RECOLLECTION.

The landscape being re-shaped by anxious men.

TO ASSOCIATE MODIFICATION OF THE LANDSCAPE WITH PA,
TO ASSOCIATE MOTHERHOOD WITH MA,
TO ASSOCIATE THE ABUSE OF LANDSCAPE AND FLESH WITH ANCESTORS,
AS IF I COULD SHAPE LANGUAGE TO COMBAT FATIGUE.

THIS IS A LIE, NOT A RETELLING;
THIS IS A NEW EVENT.

Mom Moo holds a photo of MA and PA and says:
  We all knew that Pa wasn’t very good to her
that he doesn’t treat her right
that is was fooling around with a lot of other women,
drinking and stumbling and MA
had so many mouths to feed.

TO INTRODUCE MOUTHS AS CHILDREN, CHILDREN AS SYMBOLS,
Not Individuals.

A SPECIFIC WOMAN. A SPECIFIC COMMENT.

  I’m not even going to talk about those antics,
he favored his father before him,

PRONOUNS THAT FAVOR OTHER PRONOUNS
SYMBOLS FOLLOWING SYMBOLS
he had his mind on shittin’ girls and he
didn’t see nobody else.

TO INTRODUCE UNCLE LAWRENCE
AND HE IS NOT DESCRIBED
to introduce his fondness for women as symbols
and that is not described.
My mother (she
is not described) and
I
(also vague) stay
with my grandmother/ Mom-Moo.
Names without faces.

My grandfather dies when I am a baby.
The concept remains. Hascue.

A corpulent form?
My
Uncle Lawrence will meet us directly.

Hester Payne cries on the phone.
She is someone I make up to avoid complications.
She cannot allow
the child to be born. An unexpected mouth to feed. She cries
and laughs on the phone. This occurs two days
before the trip.

Destroying during creation. Metaphors
are, in themselves, linguistic preventives.

If you don’t think we haven’t run ourselves crazy
huntin’ for those graves…

Before we pulled out of the driveway to get here, I checked the mail.
I hold Doctor Scarlett’s wedding invitation in my bag.

The name of someone that can actually be

located playing cello. As if the body were a symbol.

To Introduce cemeteries. There’s something else.

I’m not going outside
even with the breeze/ the swing/ the shade of the maple;
I am trying
to write.

I’m haunted by several ghosts.

Ghosts are images, complex ones, reflexive.

Again that PA.

Nobody was
happy with your great grandfather, he
bought all of this mother’s land and
left nothing for Ma,
Ma has nothing and neither does the rest of them,
Pa isn’t taking care of her, he is fooling around.

A bottle of whisky.

Over one hundred years between events occurring simultaneously,
to introduce an obsession with images, cascading thru time,
on the dresser, a photo of the woman that
Pa mistreated,
age eighteen.

A specific dresser.

No, that is not her.
That
woman is your great grandmother, she is beautiful, she
has so many children, too bad she never got to see you
I recon. She died just
the year before you were born.

Forgive me, not knowing them, I confuse them, they are
mostly interred at Miller’s Chapel.

As if the body signified existence >

Other women are lost, their graves eliminated. MA’s gone, too. Says Uncle
Lawrence,
we know around where, the tree is gone, the big rock, even the old barn,

but I could still find the spot.

As if words could control coordinates

Nothing that >
An investigation found only a bone, some strips of metal,
perhaps from a wood box coffin. Used to be stones
marking the spot, but someone moved them. All I know is
we were not supposed to play around there. I remember
the stones, someone must have moved them.

To introduce chance governed by rules,
passing a field where my grandparents used to play
baseball and whatever else,
after Pa railroads Ma.

Ma can’t help it, women look like that
after having children; they naturally gain weight, she
had so many children.

As if one photo were an amalgamation,
marriage is on everyone’s mind in Virginia.

The woman on the hill, by the tracks, that old woman,
that old woman was
going to marry PA after MA died
but when she found out he had nothing,
that he drank his way into poverty after selling all the land,
she turned away. And PA pined over that picture of MA when
she was eighteen.

THERE’S NOTHING I CAN DO TO HELP THEM.

TURNING AWAY.

Hearing’s the last thing to go before you die.

1.2
HOWARD JOHNSON’S HOTEL / RESTAURANT HARRISBURG PA

TO INDICATE TIME BY OPINION,

she takes so long.
These two men have been waiting on those buckets,

voyeurs obsessed with automobiles.

WOMEN CANNOT BE GAUGED WITH CLOCKS OR TAPES.
In the garage
for cars like ours.

ADDRESSING THE POEM, NOT THE MEN.
Pull up further please.
Your best gasoline?

AUTOMOBILES ARE NOT WOMEN.
MECHANICS CAN RAPE WOMEN BUT NOT AUTOMOBILES.

His pruny fingers will smudge the hood.
Next stop 53 miles. That crow in the garage
is staring at me.
MEN ARE NOT CROWS. WOMEN ARE NOT GARDENS.

CONCEPTIONS CAUSE LINGERING IN GAS STATIONS.

In restaurant:

That savage
is staring at me, but
CANNOT BE BUT INTO SPACE
the hairy fiend with the baseball cap, he
is staring at me, but he
CANNOT BE BUT INTO SPACE
and that old man with stringy hair
and no teeth, rambling past me
CANNOT BE BUT INTO SPACE
he also, he is my executioner.

THE PERSONA CAN BE KILLED. WATCH.
In the last few minutes,
the waitress crumbles above me, she is old,
the bags are everywhere, she
has been staring for years and years, she
CANNOT BE BUT INTO SPACE.
She, staring at me. Hascue eating here, twenty years past
probably interacting with this waitress.

AS IF SPECULATION COULD RESURRECT THE DEAD
WHILE LOCATING MY GRANDFATHER IN A PAST –
a younger girl, she must be about my age, puts grainy silverware

over the table (she
is staring at me, she is drawling, are you just getting
desserts?

IDENTIFIED BY FRAGMENTS IN TIME?
She removes them, I am getting shaky here,

AS IF THE PRESENCE WERE BEING ACCUSED
TO ASSOCIATE WOMEN WITH DOLLS, WITH ANCESTORS,
LOOK AT THE GIRL WHO JUST CAME IN.
THE STRAP OF HER BRA AND HER SHOULDERLESS SHIRT, THE
BATTERED SANDALS, THE MINISKIRT, THE HIGH HARD HAIR, MY
GOD, THE NAILS

INCHES LONG, CURLING FIENDISHLY,

SHE TAPS HER CIGARETTE, HER FAMILY IS DESTROYED.
I could have designed her myself. HER FACE
THE ZOMBIE STARE OF A BARBI DOLL.

HER EYES ARE NOT MOVING, SOMEBODY TAKES HER TO DARK
BACKSEATS, HE BETTER BE CAREFUL OF THOSE NAILS.

WOMEN ARE NOT DOLLS.
TO ASSOCIATE DISPLACEMENT.
The guy wiping the tables eyes up the waitress, he
is asking her if she works tomorrow, soon he will ask her out,
they are teaming up to clean the table,
putting the knives in their little white cups, he eyes
her ass. TO PERCEIVE ONLY FRAGMENTS, TO PERCEIVE
A WHOLE FROM THE PIECE.

THOSE NAILS, my
bacon is fatty, my
home fries are cold, TAKE ME
TO THE MOTHERFUCKING CAR, we
all have to die, it
might as well be here, bring me
the check, I AM TRYING TO RECEIVE,
TO RESURRECT. TO ASSOCIATE PIECES AND MOMENTS
AS IF THE CENTER
WAS AS SHE WAS, TURNING AWAY,
CREATING DURING DESTRUCTION.

1.3
STATEMENTS MADE IN HOWARD JOHNSON’S PARKING LOT

Should we carry in the cooler, are you going to want a drink?

I think we are going to need more ice, this
is all water/ is all liquefied mush.

The parking lot/ an ominous field.
The trees are alive and cannot move fast enough.

Room away from the traffic, on ground level, so you can go through the screen.

Chattering. This is no game.

No cars pass this spot.
Bugs cluster around the lights next to the doorways.

So you can find the keys.

A woman screams beyond the battalion of trees.
Either she’s jumping in a pool, or dying.

I’m creaming by the ice bucket, she’s

destroyed.

1.4
ARRIVAL / ENTRY INTO THE CEDAR HOUSE

A distinct odor that holds in time and space.
A revelation neither surprising or sublime.

The main house, the Cedar House, Mom-Moo’s.
I have a lot of dreams about this place.

Cedar, dust and biscuits. Once, Hascue’s
aftershave.

Bingo, chips.

Now, odors more
like polyester and lemon cedar.

And the cedar has eyes.
Returning with reoccurring visions.

Outside, the drainage ditch is a bottomless pit,
surrounded by cutlass grass, bug invested, now
redeveloped, sealed by a two ton grating.

On the back of the Old Building,
a hornet’s nest rings with a buzz. Dancing around
this building,

playing chase games/
waiting for the train to pass over the hill.
Inside playing marbles. All my cousins are
married now with kids. I am much younger than them.

The cucumber patch is over there. That’s new.

This is the kitchen where one of
my cousins is making out
with the kid from across the street
while leaning against that stove. But she will
marry someone else.

This is the kitchen where I moo where my
family plays rook. The card game. Moo, mooooo.

That poor boy, says Hascue., pulling me from the playpen,
pulling me from the trap. Moooo, I say.

And here is the pink bedroom.  I stole my cousin’s
marbles and slept with them under my pillow so that they
could not steal them back. They all have dolls so
I steal one and also hide it under my pillow. To appease me, I am brought a doll
of
my own. Returning home, I tear off it’s head. It is a
Barbie doll. Decapitated, the figure lies in my
toybox for many months. I would open the box with fear, a
slit of light illuminating a torn-off head, a headless body.

Sorry.

At night I cannot see at all. No streetlights illuminate the side of
this mountain. I cannot sleep. I am not eating right.

To associate weddings with fatigue, I have to remember
to mail the wedding acceptance. I can’t smell the house anymore.
I must be used to it, in waves of half sleep, I hear trains
rumble through the mountains nearby.

1.5
THE MOMENT BEFORE SLEEP: THE APPARITION OF THE NIPPLE GODDESS

In moments of weakness
your nipples edge me into an
uncertain and shaky funk.

Not as a whole; representing certain fragments,
not the image of the nipples, not the nipples, but
the ghost of the nipples,

yes, in weak moments
before a dream,
or when I am washing my hands,
or brushing my teeth, or
masturbating, in
moments of hamburger reverie,
the ghost of your thin figure dives between
trees and cafeteria tables.

Yes, in weak moments
prone to sarcastic, sardonic, decadent smiles,
seeking an anorexic apparition not in space/ a figure in theory.

Your erect and powerful nipples, punching points
in shirts like hot nails in iron, challenging my existence in
this space. Attempting to assert presence by commenting

not in the presence of her brittle figure

I say, hey look at those nipples,
you’re pulling your t-shirt past them and
latching the belt, binding your baggy pants,
you, Nipple Goddess , you
will not accept disdainful designations,

Nipple Goddess,
you put poets in skimpy black underwear,
laugh them into submission, you take gamblers, jolt them
into sweaty catacomb casinos, nipple goddess, you
stride thru the cafeteria with saggy seat and furcoat,

as if the invocation could summon the presence.

I often salute you by masturbating in a bathtub, knocking

suds into soapy water.  I smack my own hairy
belly, I’m a dented rotting orangutan.

Loose mouth, say this apparition, psycho obsessive, put
you in a hole. As the train rumbles through the mountains.

You are being raped (I know it’s a strong word), and you’re raping yourself,
it’s your own
fatty tissue that has reached up out of the grease trap to
strangle you, invade you and press you down.

Painted your portrait once, a stick figure in fur with deadly nipples,
can’t do it again, as
I’m forgetting your face,
forgetting your face right now, can’t help it,
I never touched it, I don’t think I ever will, kissing you,
kissing your lips, but technically not touching your face.

To associate the invocation of your image –
to recall only statements as a form of violation.

Are your tits chapped? Have you had enough to eat?
Watch your shape, there are forms that cannot exist
even through identification. The ridges between the
broken pieces of your areola, coincidental events within
concurrent deadlines.

Incomplete, Nipple Goddess,
while I’m trying to sleep here in Virginia, let me confess what
happened that night that I came up to your room.
An event with a certain woman, let’s call her the Dough
Girl, not to name/ not to identify/ signify, and just as you were
a stick with teats, so was she an overblown, milk moo cow mirth
of a woman , maybe 300 pounds, extremely beautiful,

Dough Girl smells like sugar mink lilacs
so soft, so hug, so soft, not a whole, just
adjective, mooshy flesh uncooked cookie dough,
warm sherbet, arm fluttered full of sweetness. We bumped
into each other at a party, and full of vino and sweets,
I bid her carry me into her room.

The Dough Girl and I sneak thru a waiting room full of people into her private
sanctum.
A cheap sawwood desk with an adjustable lamp on it., next to a single bed.
I made her leave the lamp on.  A set of costume New Orleans pearls
curl up on her desk.

A playground, the buckets of her copious flesh. Plowing the pieces with teeth.
Licking her sex hot lemonade Italian ice, my eyes peeled up
to the largest basketball size breasts ever seen. HUGE.
I reached up and gripped nipples between my pinchers like knobs,
tightly like I was trying to swirl the cream from a titanic doughnut. Ahhhh, I
twirled them like tops,
in semi-circules, her areola swirling op art circles on a pink pop soft
sculputre,
the fatty tissues of her breads rotating carnation versions of twin
gas giants. The soft dough flesh rattling, buckling like the smooth
plastic ripple of a waterbed mattress.  I could not take the entire nipple into
my mouth at once, I could only lick the rim of the areolas, literally the size
of saucer cups.

Dough Girl drooled sensation, and I had never seen such a tremble. I continued
nibbling on rolls of her skin, taking the flesh folds of her belly in both of my
hands at once
a massive Dagwood sandwich, biting into the rolls in bakery delight.
Her desk made scraping noises as she shifted in pleasure.

I unbuttoned the jeans and pulled them off.  At this point Dough Girl is twenty
and endlessly curvy –
but without the age issue of cellulite cottage cheese legs. No her legs were
huge, powerful, pink and plump,
but were perfectly smooth to the touch, and had a uniform, porcelean quality to
it.

Liberty allowed me to enter the bridge.

And enter it, I did, one digit at a time, one digit at a time, one digit at a
time, one digit at a time,
moderately and then extreme. My fist plunged into the bucket, ripping and
rotating into the core.

Lucky the lights were on – or I would have been splattered in gore.

She says This is my chance to bleed.

A drop of blood in a glass of water.
Could I conceal the stump of my fist in my pajama top?

Nipple Goddess, the Dough Girl I’ve been eating is a nightmare vision of
anorexic glaze, a living projection
of your antimatter self, she’s the broken pieces of all your psychotherapy.

And I’m splattered with her blood, and her blood is your blood, and suddenly,
I’m your old boyfriend who raped you and beat the shit out of you, and
I’m recollecting all the violations of time and space/ and I am the violation,

and here you are, weighing yourself on the scale, calling
the doctor, blazing your nipples into the mirror as your clothes fall,
and you cringe at the disappearing apparition of your self.

But that girl in the mirror is never fat. I chewed her to death, I
poked a big hole in the middle of her fat with my fist and pulled
out her guts, gored her, and rose
up to your room.

It’s so dim in here, I am so drunk,

I’m not remembering what I’m telling you,
never remember what I’m telling you, I just want
your nipples, I want your deadly nipples in my mouth, goddess, but
you said my letters all got lost in the mail. I shouldn’t have
tried to use language anyway.

You’re the one who called me! Are you climbing a hill looking for an automobile?
Looking for something in an automobile?

Are you playing cards/ holding hands, are you waiting for the train to pass?

You refuse to let me carry the pizza box.

Is this rational behavior? Do you have to escape your own image? Is that you in
the mirror?
Are you having a pleasant walk? Do you have the desire to touch or is the desire
empty?

Standing in front of my portrait of you, someone mutters, do you have anything
for the Nipple Goddess?

All I get out of this moment is a tiny doll you give me, a worry doll. You say
to put
the doll under my pillow at night and go to sleep and make a wish and it will
come true.  I guess I might as well have my token kiss goodnight now.

There’s always problems with interpretations.
I’m immediately embarrassed. I’m still afraid of that doll.


1.6
DO YOU APPRECIATE THE SWEET SONG OF SPRING?

RENAE,
CONTINUING TO HANG OUTSIDE,
MY UNCLE SWINGS ON THE PORCH,

UNCLE LAWRENCE IS NAMED, YET…
ACROSS THE STREET, SWINGING, AN
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN BESIDE A YOUNG GIRL.
I’M MAKING LOVE TO HER, 100 YARDS AWAY,
LEERING AT HER THRU GLASS AND SCREEN, IN
TEMPERATURE CONTROLLED COMFORT.

ON A SWING, ON A PORCH.

EVERYONE SWINGS HERE, YES
THEY SWAY ON THEIR PORCH,
WATCHING TRAFFIC/ WATCHING BIRDS,
AFTER DINNER, DANGLING ON THE PORCH, BREATHING.

THIS IS WHAT SO MANY PEOPLE DO.

IT’S COLD IN THE HOUSE HERE WITH THE AIR CONDITIONER ON.
CAN’T EVEN LEAVE THE WINDOWS OPEN ON A COOL DAY.

I DON’T KNOW WHY IT’S SO HOT.

WHEN I WAS 15, I SAW THAT WOMAN ON THE PORCH,
PERHAPS SHE WAS PREGNANT THEN, YES
SHE IS THE ONE, YES, SIX YEARS AGO, AND I
SUSPECT A SONG FOR HER, THINKING PIANO OR FLUTE/
CELLO OR VIOLIN.

TO TALK ABOUT/ SING ABOUT
THE GIRL ON THE PORCH, HOW I COULD NOT/ CANNOT
COMMUNICATE WITH HER. IF I WROTE A SONG, AND RECORDED IT
AND MAILED IT TO HER, WOULD IT DISINTEGRATE AS SHE BUSTED
OPEN THE SEAL ON THE MAILER? WOULD SHE GET IT?

NEVER GOT/ AM GETTING/ WILL GET MY HANDS IN HER HAIR.

THE CREATION OF THEM SUSPENDED IS TO DESTROY BY HANGING.

THAT LITTLE GIRL, ON HER LAP, DID SHE BRAID HER HAIR HERSELF?

MOVEMENT IN STAGNATION,
ROPED BY FRAGMENTATION,
A TRAIN CHUGGING BY, YELLOW SHIRT ON A WHITE GIRL.
UNCLE LAWRENCE VERTICAL. DON’T
GET TRAPPED HANGING ON A SWING. OR
ACROSS FROM ONE.

1.7
THIS SECTION HAS BEEN DESTROYED


1.8
MILLER’S CHAPEL CHURCH SERVICE

Does anyone have any birthdays today?

Somewhere.

Here.

A pew dedicated to my grandfather, I think.
He helped put stuff up on the walls.

That picture of Jesus has been up
since I was a little girl.

And that map of the Holy Land.

Does anyone have any anniversaries today?

That girl

in the front:
recognize her from last time.

The one
in the white and pink.
The only girl
in the choir.
Who is she — ?

Does anyone have any marriages?

Making her into an item?
And what if she did?

Are there any Announcements?

That  girl

can stand to lose a pound or two, but she has
a pretty face.

I, intruding on this infested space.

Outside in the dust by the car, her grandmother chimes:
My baby’s going in/ on thirteen.

AGGGGGH!

An old rusty male, I’m stepping on myself.

Does anyone know anyone who is sick/ who we should keep in mind?
Are there any deaths?

1.9
ALCHEMICAL APPARITION

(A strong instinctive fight to retain his
native cheerfulness unimpaired

naturally a plentiful stream of life

and humor, a sense of sufficiency and
exuberance,
giving ease.

But now it caused tension

there was any difference
exactly
always thinking of women
or a woman
day in
day out
and that frustrated him.
He could not get free,
ashamed.

Incapable of pushing

the presence of the girl made it impossible.

Not despising himself, nor the girl; (but)
the net result in him of the experience.)

Uncomfortable in all definitions —>
Wife, mistress, mother, friend, woman —>

another study of the relationship of life and love

she can love, feel, respond freely, act impulsively

a creature of whim/ of impulse/ of change

a pure spirit, an incarnation of the goddess of love

her face and her smile
the statue of the love goddess

difficulties surviving in the real world

of geographical boundaries, marriage laws, child bearing

the moments lose their sunlight when they become months and years)

Suddenly, I address the Alchemical Gold woman directly…
As if my action could cause the event to occur.

If I summon you here, the thought is
you here, forward come here now,
to this porch swing, static, rolling by
(eight pots of flowers that I cannot identify,
flanking my sides), and this bulging, shadowy maple, shaking
over my head, to this grassy slope,

your image, that is you,

if not in person than in my image,

you are lying on the grass bed, draping
across a dandelion, digging your heels into the soil,

mysterious woman/ gold woman, you drive
your car in a circle, you smash your wine glasses,
you rip your shirts, and pieces of you are cutting my mind,

gold woman,
you dip your chipped nail toe in the lake, swim, you
pray in the chapel, your skirt tickles the fuzz on
your thighs, sleepy, sleepy,
put your hair behind you,

shift your melon summer sun dress, and as you roll,
feel your braless breasts turn, grazing the inside of the
fabric, and we,

the plants and I peer down your neck and past
your armpit to snatch/ to fleeting glance,
the color of your skin, the curve of your cup,
the color of your nipple crowned ‘neath the cotton
surface of your dress, your
melon sun summer dress, clinging to perspiration
on your fuzz legs, in summer speed and sweat.

It’s only pieces I ever recover of you, not
the whole form at any one instant,

pushing me away as I clumsily try to kiss you.

Well, that’s the wrong thing to do, I guess. I should
be an asexual self pollinating twitch.

If you thought that throwing those letters away would
take the personality out of the pain,

then
I know the texture of your skin. Especially this
time of year; in the summer you oil up, I can take
my finger and trace the oil in a circle on your neck, as though I am
checking for dust,
checking for cigarettes and poetry.

I am tearing open your chest as you wave down a taxi. The
paper flutters,
and you are lost in someone’s deep red rusty eye.

I have never met him/ cannot see him
at all, and you only in pieces.

Kicking off a soggy maple leaf from my sneaker,
it’s stuck, it’s stuck, hanging on my shoelace,
it crumbles as I crush it.

Most massage techniques are inch by inch,
breaking the body
into component parts. So many
rotations of the thumb on this centimeter beneath
the shoulderblade, and so on.
Assembling shudders in the nervous system.

A locust rattles off like a machine gun at the top of this maple tree.

Wind blows useless thru clumps of summer maple leaves,
As I fail to image the actual woman with words.

She said,
They all want to sanctify me,
to turn me into an effigy, a myth.
They want to idealize me and pray to me,
use me for consolation, comfort.

Curse my image, the image of me that fades me everyday
with the same over fineness, over delicacy,
the pride, the vulnerability which makes people want to preserve me,
treat me with care.

Curse my eyes which are sad, and deep,
and may hands which are delicate,
and my walk, which is a glide, my voice which is a whisper,
all that can be used for a poem,
and is too fragile to be raped, violated, used.

An actual statement stolen from somewhere else…

She was trembling in my arms. She felt very small.

She looked away. I thought she was looking for another cigarette. Then I saw she
was crying. I could feel her crying. Shaking and crying. She wouldn’t look up. I
put my arms around her.

I could feel her crying as I held her close.

She would not look up. I stroked her hair.
I could feel her shaking.

I had no girl

whose disembodied face floated among the dark cornices and blinding trees,
and
so

I drew up the leaf beneath me,

tightening my hands.

1.10
GOOD MORNING! OR IS IT??

Today, this is the same sun that has always risen to greet you in the morning,
warming your cheek.
This is the same sky. The ground on which you walk remains stable.
The buildings you traverse, essentially intact.  This is the same air, the same
oxygen.
The same landscape all together.

You called me, sick, pregnant, ill with morning sickness, vomiting.

By the time you read this, you will have had the appointment.

Somehow it seems hotter than usually today. I’ll see you at the wedding.

1.11
DARTS AND RELATED MUSES

A dart bings off the dartboard,
can’t even hit it, make
it stick. It’s
an odd number of darts:
three green, two yellow.

RENAE, I THOUGHT THAT YOU COULD BE
THE CORNERSTONE OF THIS POEM
BEFORE I MEET YOU I AM DECIDING THAT YOU WOULD BE
A SYMBOL/ AN ARCHETYPE
THAT YOU WOULD BE THE PRINCIPAL INSPIRATION
OF THIS SECTION

WHEN WE GO TO THE MOVIES AND YOU
ARE SILENT AND KEEP CITING THE EVENT

THAT

WHEN YOU COME TO MY HOUSE AND I
GO INTO MY ROOM AND LOCK YOU OUT
I LOCK YOU OUT SO THAT YOU CANNOT LOOK AT MY POP-UP BOOKS
AND THEN SIX YEARS LATER, I
MANAGE TO SWING MYSELF INTO A TRIP TO THE MOVIES
AND A TRIP TO YOUR HOUSE AND I
CONNIVE TO GET YOU TO COME UPSTAIRS SO THAT
I CAN PLAY DARTS WITH YOU SO
THAT I COULD TALK TO YOU

AS YOU ARE A LIVING GHOST BEFORE ME
I MUST CONFRONT YOU/ INTERACT
I HAVE TO DRAW SOME MEANING FROM THE
EXISTENCE OF YOU AND ME IN THE SAME SPACE

AND YOU SAY THAT EVERYONE HERE GETS
MARRIED SO EARLY
AND I TELL YOU ABOUT THE DREAMS
ABOUT THE BARN AND THE ROCKS

YOU SHOW FACES TO ME IN THE YEARBOOK
YOU SHOW ME THE INFLUENCES

YOU TELL ME

I HAVE BEEN LOCKING WOMEN OUT
I HAVE BEEN LOCKING THEM OUT

I AM ALREADY DEAD

WITH NO REBIRTH THROUGH THIS SYSTEM OF SYMBOLS
NO REBIRTH THROUGH LANGUAGE

I guess that should be put in the refrigerator,
seems like it’s kind of soft.

1.12
MILLER’S CHAPEL CEMETERY

Recovering nothing.

All these figures are dead to me, before
I meet them.

All consultations are entirely confidential.

You might want to wear long pants
because the grass is high
and the bugs will bite.

What is that round thing down there?
It’s for the water.

You can see where the cattle has chewed
on the flowers that have blown over the fence.

Those big old things will topple in the wind.

Up there where all those markers
are, not markers but gravestones,
limestone, worn away, no dates, no names,
only the first to die that are put here.

Bones soaking in the dirt.
Just a bunch of stones.

Here, Hascue’s grave.

I’m surprised the cattle comes up this far.

She died of Hodgkin’s disease; and he, 7,
shot himself with a pistol; this fellow
died in a truck the next day, (distracted
by airplanes) ;and this man went
squirrel hunting, came back, and as he stepped
through the front door, he fell backwards dead.

My grandfather Hascue had sunken eyes and shaved
twice a day. The woman in church today says I
favor him, hugs me, that woman with wild hair. I
don’t know who she is.

One of my best friends was responsible for the
accident. She spontaneously aborted. He said, now
I will never know my first child. She said, nothing.

The hill is so high I am afraid
I will topple in. How did the cattle manage this steepness?

Men rerouting the sinewy roadways, blasting
a path through the mountains. Using a mountain to fill in the
space between two other ones, tiny mountains, but I’m
still afraid to topple off, the grass is so thick with weeds.

Uncle Lawrence, tapping his belly:
O, you should see the place on Memorial Day, if
you think THIS is a lot of flowers. A southern tradition. Like any
good ol’ southern boy ought to do. To
pay respects. More like a chance to see folks you haven’t
seen in a few years. And they collect dues.

Standing with my cousins, the tombstones
have open books on them, stone books,
but the pages are blank.

Here’s a new grave.  Dirt in blocks. It’s so new
and so muddy, I’m afraid I’ll fall in.

There are photos
of some of these people mounted on their stones like ornamental broaches.
This one has fallen off, there is just a bland spot.

I am looking for a photo of a girl my age.

Another woman to dissect —
that poor girl
If only I  wasn’t so sick all the time she said,
constantly reminding me of my mistake.

Here, a photo of a child that only lived one day. There are so many stones,
death on the day of their birth, and to associate
poetry with abortion, life listed in one sentence, a scratch on the
calendar, lambs chiseled on the top of the stones, pink and blue flowers
poked into the grass, shivering on wires.  To associate creating with death,
surrounded by cut grass (she knows that the lawnmowers chip the stones, I don’t
care
if they are marble) so many births, so many silk flowers ebulliently littered
in the shadows of these hard monuments.

Representatives of the unsignified,
know only the stones.

And this.
Hascue standing by the mirror,
smelling of an aftershave that cannot be identified,
I am asking him a question that does not exist,

and he is telling me to ask somebody else.

AS THOSE DOOMED NOT TO EXIST, I AM BOUND TO FAIL.

SO I REALLY CAN OFFER NO EXPERIENCES, OR FIND
ANY PRECISE COORDINATES.

CHATTERING

WITH JOLLY SPIRITS/ IN FITS OF MIRTH,

I HATE THIS POEM BECAUSE I AM IN IT.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • All content, art, and text is copyright RadioCobalt.com 2010
  • AWSOM Powered