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

awaiting sleep (mania)

Preening madonnas catapult themselves through streets of mind,
in purple pumps, flashing gold fireworks sidewalk wide.
S’not exactly right, that they’re here;
but we’ll let them bounce around until my head falls off,
just ‘til then.

They’re prophetic prostitutes, these nightwatchmen, frogs in disguise.
Fluorescent-tinted eyesores and pineapple-tainted breath
equal pressure on the brain.
I hurt. I fly. Can’t see any way out.

But the beavers hunger; they need less focus to urinate.
If they didn’t, and did focus, were able to;
they’d gnaw off their own buckteeth.
For they can’t see the wood right in front of them.

They’re not drifting on stacks as they should be,
or even floating by on backs of tortoises.
They’re swept up in torrents of moonshine,
squealing all the way.

Ouch. It hurts to have brain so wide and swollen,
to take murky, bloody steps through swamps of cortex,
one wet boot clomp at a time.

I taste blood.
Where from? The mirror reports none. I checked (chickened out).
Is it from the inside I taste?

The guffaw of nightwatchmen echoes through mindchambers,
warning of impending bliss.
Explosions loom overhead, pressing down on consciousness.

Sloppy red blood stains fat lips.
Lips of mouth sealed shut
by black ropey stitches.
Dried brown blood,
thick saliva oozes through cracks
with words unspeakable.

Fingers tapper out letters,
trying to make hand twitches legible,
readable to seizuring minds.
Attempts at communication
stress the stitch, pull fat lips into threads
that slice deep wounds,
as a cheese grater takes to a block of cheddar.

Grace screeches by on the taut wings
of a pterodactyl-sized bat.
Steroids. Eager. Pleasure.

Heat in the pussy, fire in there. Very hot, searing the mound, lips,
delicate inner fleshiness. Wet nubs do not assuage, but feel
to the flame like alcohol. Holes burnt into sexuality and innocence.
Secondary, really.

Dreams begin awake, scenes from an autopsy film on autoplay
flash characters I have not known, having conversations
I must eavesdrop on with superb attentiveness to make out.

Pressure on the brain. It hurts. Fluid flowing not too much, but
too much in there blowing up like a balloon.
Organs twitch with malicious tingling. Is this death?
Or just mania. Take your pick. (You choose, I’m not.)

Photograph by Bennett Raglin 
www.brphotocreations.com 
Featuring model Walter Hurley
Shot at Alchemical Studios, NYC

Gia by Tom Clark Photography

the threat of happiness

She’s placidly
slipping down from ecstatic
pockets
into the calm understatement of bliss.
Which
rides its own horse-
the threat of happiness.

Sinister treads the heartbeat,
regular and full-fledged.
Then your porcupine smile
replaces her with heart,
reduces ego to mud;
and life filters through blood.

The little and mister devilish
masters conciliation of the spiciest recanters,
then smears
monkey core with ticklish.

Don’t pleasure
the
killing fields
without protection.
You’re better off
here,
where honeysuckles proliferates
new visions of her.

You’ll need remembrance on the galloping trail,
to cradle your body
with draconian bliss.

Cool your blocks before stepping in,
so her feathers won’t hurt you.
She’ll dot your eyes
and you’ll cross her teasing contagion
with cramped ridicule and haughty marauding.

And finally, wherewithal will ensue.

 

September 2005
(poem V. in The Chelsea Chronicles)

 

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)

 

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