faces in wood grain

blacklisted



Stubborn orifices of steel block my vision.
I am tapped;
though malignantly, not dripping.
Cosmic joke.
Clots of core being
surge out of my system,
lumping my cauliflower veins with yesterday
and liquefying said obstructions tomorrow.
In this fashion,
my core self has been leaving me
alone, hardly breathing
in a mire of self-pity.
My soul, I fear, now clumps,
petrified by judgment
and withering into tumors of former ambition.
It remains imprisoned by my frenzied ego
who’s encrusted by the fear that simmers with
the rite of internal suicide.
Jump.

scintillating drunkards, a poem

scintillating drunkards

My New Year’s Eve said to me: “You are a stoic woman.”

attended the opera alone at carnegie hall. die fledermaus, concert version. had two tickets, but never found the gorgeous stranger i fantasized i’d run into in the preceding days. it was fine. i cried. not because it was touching- no, this opera is fanciful, silly, a farce. i cried because the applause filled me up. because the stage looked so inviting. these sorts of tears are commonplace to me though.

after the opera, i imagined i would find a bar. walked down the west side about thirty blocks, never did. They either cost fifty bucks plus just to enter or looked like a college dorm. one lounge looked just right. simply called “the door,” velvet rope, attractive muscled doormen, discreet enough.

until the kid in front of me said “why are you alone?”

i looked at him. i just looked at him. you can imagine. “oh i guess that was a dumb thing to say…”

i shook my head. i was not really in a just-let-the-idiots-simmer-in-their-idiocracy mood. so i of course found myself grilling him about whether or not he is capable of going anywhere without his supportive cohorts who will stop him before he ever has the chance to experience anything or anyone new, or god forbid, think new, expansive thoughts. the poor boy was so clueless and apparently friends with so many of the people inside- that after one peek inside, i tossed my imaginary cape around my shoulders and flew off.

as the midnight tide struck, i do believe i was on the subway, being spoken to by a mentally disabled man who wanted to give me his phone number so i could call him and check up on him at his new job in a month. he said his daughter was gonna be on Jeopardy some day! in this moment, i feel guilty for not taking it. imagine how good he might have felt, had i called him in a month. so good, that it may have knocked some IQ points up and into him. oh well. next time. retrospection, once again, teaches lessons.

upon emerging from underground at 72nd street, the fireworks over central park had just started. and although i don’t particularly like fireworks, it’s all i had to work with. i really prefer the ocean or the moon, shooting stars, a waterfall, nuclear revolution… i decided to grapple onto any last shred of dignity and meditate on these god-forsaken rainbow preservatives. my primary resolution fell under the category of doing more of what i love, and the list was long, but tight: love, act, write, make love, meditate, write, dance, act, sing, make love, play the piano, meditate, be free, travel, make love…. and on through the rotations.

and i realized, so pristinely accurate, that i was alone. nothing i ever really cared about much before. alone? of course. it could not have been any clearer. i am entirely alone, as we all are. i was somber, but grounded and feeling myself. there, planted on 72nd street and so intensely focused on the night sky colorfully lit over the park.

and lo and behold, i was hit. not by a brilliant taxi nor a life-changing revelation. no, hit by the careening body of a sturdy, past the the point of alcohol poisoning english bloke. he twirled around himself, like a bulbous top without a proper point to spin upon. he smiled and chortled, not a wee bit humiliated. steadying himself on a fat woody lightpost, he observes “You are a very stihistioriric woman.”

“i’m an historic woman??” i admit, i was flattered by dragon mouth. i thought of grecian statues, joan of arc, egyptian queens… i could do that…

“A stoic woman. I said. You are a very stoic woman.”

“oh.” great. just what i need. “oh, really?” are you sure??

“yyyyisss.”

“not always.” i’m a fucking actress! was the only defense that lept to mind. and truth. Struck me as an inappropriate and showy remark, so I stuck with the mundane, and kept my own imagination, of the plethora of colors I keep in my wings, to myself.

turned out to be quite a funny fellow. intelligent, probably rich. make the best, or at least most successful, drunkards. i refused his card. i will not ring him when i’m in london, for “i’m never there. eat something.”

of course it was not the night personified that spoke to me, but perhaps the drunkest man I have ever seen, barreling unsuccessfully around his nonexistent equilibrium point. he thought he was fine, smashing into walls and poles and stoic women. he had another engagement yet to attend.

back to my meditation sequence, i ended before the fireworks. they overdid it as usual. the more fries the better, folks! this is america. supersize my resolution, my hips will thank you!

then back home, essentially doing nothing. minus the champagne. too leaden and depressed to pick up the phone. and finally slept.

New Year’s Eve, 2004

Photograph by Mike Gutkin

the arbor hollows

So what, leaves scurry across Madison Square Park’s stoned paths.
Unbending characters as they fall through the air.
Too dead already to leave a cicatrice upon their wombs,
They find themselves again alive in the afterlife
Giving voice to loneliness.

And the wind itself, which kindly aborts leaves
Before their deciduous infects the trees,
Maintaining its cyclic taunting,
As does the external world of interaction-mingling.

In its silence, we’re left to ourselves, to ignore the social.
We do not see nor hear, nor need.
But there, again. It submits to busyness.
With audible leaves who know quite obviously how to behave together.
No time for contemplation where the wind is concerned.

Leaves don’t chatter among themselves about social norms or seasonal etiquette.
And until one becomes its branch’s sole survivor,
not even self-awareness will it have.
No sense of being a leaf, a free mind to enjoy the journey it’s on.

Have you heard a leaf run across the pavement?
An unmistakably desperate scurry toward nothing
Because choice never existed in a life fated for death.

How could it have been sprouted with any greater purpose,
Than to die?
It could never truly be, with any being outside itself,
But only coexist with other pawns for the duration of life before death.

Why is the leaf said to be more alive, or alive at all while on its branch?
Only because it grows, until it doesn’t.
And so death sets in.
Are we as alive as the leaf?
Do you remember when you stopped growing?

Photograph by Mike Gutkin

Chelsea Hotel

memorizing the chelsea

I sit at coiled desks of copper,
with a mind more vivid than a walk to the window
could possibly enhance.

I’m observing you, surrounded by our fetishes.
The scherzoid of bells and whistles
suppresses my uterus.
Easy, like the fishes.

We’re trapeze artists,
simulating monkey bars-
only with love and pears soaked in cinnamon.

Emotions that look like hairy stars
run radiant spears straight at my forehead,
and puncture through the third eye
and out the cuffs,
dousing the room with undrinkable brilliance.

A room for rent here.
No longer inhabitable by me, but for you, a crane-
uphoists your knickers into an interminable fit.

An alloy of frankincense and catatonic blurbs
keeps frying your batter around my legs
and nibbling on my knees, and on my ankles-
’til they’re full of hounds traipsing tails back to pounds.

Flamingos and pomegranates wade in the basin,
fluffing their ears up to hear the humans
braying in the other room,
exercising their age difference,
cloying at mismatched likelihoods that common absurdities,
Gemini births and penchants for sex
might iron them together.

Cocker spaniels and harpsichords
crash their feathers together
into an uproarious tune,
better known as “the alabaster twist.”

Who keeps sticking meat into Grandma’s chocolates?

Bayonets continue their slumber ’til April
and parchments re-align the harvest
for lascivious, the luscious great grain.
Drumbeat of left wing, gracious paradise
memorizes the Chelsea.

 

(poem IV. in The Chelsea Chronicles)

 

peregrina (the rover)

CIRCADIAN CLOCK NO.3 
from The Master Circadian Clock Cycles 1-8

she keeps choosing the lot of them
who stretch carried-over torment
thin across her nipples
taut like insipid lust,
their pain.

the lovers who would be,
yet never will lie with she
drift sideways before eyes, a stream
of misbegotten waifs, once men, now geminis.

if only they were hustlers
pinching hipbones for dollars
or pungent sailors flooding her
furrowed welcome mat with callers.

but no,
there is he
who hides behind his gritty teeth,
and there is she who shutters at her sigh-
he who gets it up, then fondles her all awry.

“why oh why?” says she, in shambles,
replacing her nugget with two-fold flies.
when other others would be fierce
and praise God for the chance,

the innocuous illusory
strangles on his own artifice
his disappointing middle tones,
her quiet venefice.

for when she polishes off the day
and he phones in sick, sneaking groans
escape her crevice,
tick   tock   tick.

back to john she’ll slink
to the bed of home,
to biting lips and parting hips,
her amplified hours to think.

she’s bespectacled by night,
fogged-in by day,
refuses to take her midnight mangy
out to play.

for mangy’s an overly unctuous mess
malignantly pawing away at,
awaiting the preliterate
dreams of too much to confess.

at three in the morning,
foreshadowed comings
impale restless futility
on her own Eratos,
primeval virility.

in purpled shadows,
she gnaws away at Lorca’s feet,
at the pernicious stanzas,
landscapes, Andalusian meat.

breathless in robes of satin,
she’s a helix in nomadic haze,
a frustrated flesh
impressing onto bedroom mirrors
her flaming maze.

the reminiscent coalesces
with pale harmonies
re-wetting the slivers of doubt,
her vagabond body regresses,
sinless,
into violet clouds and tears.

with record player rippling
spinal hips curve to spleen
lightly, a coiling eroticism doubts
the perfect fledgling caprice
and finally,
feckless desires decease.

she stops forgetting who she is,
what her madness is about
a priori, a lamplit virginal,
impetuous in drought.

“where’s mangy?” she slurs,
“mangy, come out to play.”
stays hidden between legs
devout fertility endlessly purrs,
clawing away at indecipherable prey.

she’s clear about the meaning of sex,
the escape from rollicking deception
into cherished abandons
swimming in conception.

yet the others are not-
the ones she has chosen,
and foolishly embarked on with soul,
are drowning in preconception,
sycophantic pricks, half frozen by control.

to them, she’s swimming in madness,
tasting of precarious delight.
they see only a delectable obscurity
of precocious smells and precipitate sight.

oh, how the keeper of mangy
consecrates fevered hours to think,
yet night after night, one must shrink.
leave alone with wakefulness
its empty violet shell, her ink.

she dreams of her limestone lizard
in soft snow moonlight,
lifting his lethargic peace to her palms
sniffing and licking in like procession,

feasting on roasted heart, dripping blue love
over their alms.

her dragon has forgotten
broken chains with buried lovers
left in deserts past, it seems,
miseries lost, traced over forever
by the didactic banks of salt and sand
…..she dreams.

night after night,
the honesty of well-oiled seams
debates the covenants of love,
choosing to stretch

night after night,
carried-over torment
thin across her nipples
taut like insipid lust,
their pain, and thus

night after night,
finds herself always,
and again
alone
with aurora,
keeping stock
for indeterminate bliss.

peregrina leave, dismiss.
mangy come, exist.

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