I wish I had a "something else" a secret that was mine alone. But that? It wouldn't be like me. My gods have made this difficult answering my prayers of seed "send to me all that I need" and little did I know the bleed of all I never knew and greed is blessings most superfluous like too many shoes and I am dancing here with two left feet and I must learn to make this work preference of a bare foot as my fingers grab the sky laughing kokopeli beat--
as every day I bury lies of all I was just yesterday and celebrate the child in me
the cat is rubbing on my leg and my love it took a week for you to talk to me at all about the grave and where you sleep now that it is done I know you miss her afterall and art does not apologize though sometimes I think it should for instance times like this and I'm too tired from the walk to summon passion for the talk enough impressions on my eyes and all they want are happy things but my tongue is tied to this shot glass moistening my lips as I pick and choose the frames from my throbbing head's refrain what do you wanna see?
A cat was squashed fresh in the street they hit my baby twice and I stared at her with the cold eye of a coroner noting track marks of the tires made a vee there in the street but that's not pretty poetry just somethin' that I've seen lately but I don't wanna talk but I guess I owe you all that much and twenty thousand reasons why I don't wanna write.
There's so much more, to tell, than cats and pain is now my bestest friend and I am not the way I was I put her in a plastic bag with glaucoma veils of vague covering our eyes again so I wouldn't see surprise like I always did before in the eyes of wonder whores of mystery and death.
As if, as if, it could compare to kissing Daddy on his head and trying to wipe the dribble blood from his mouth or closing it and understanding I could not-- it takes more strength than I have got to close the eyes and shut the mouth of what I prayed to animate and how I pitied me and hate was my bestest friend back then until the shadows followed me and I danced with Death again praying selfishly for life for me as if I were some other thing as if the words I write are me: Another shot, for me and thee as if, as if, the Cuervo's gold and I don't know too many facts about just how the rice is grown-- in stages tripling the yield--
What else do you wanna know? My life is filled with lotsa slow movements and the bruise of knees and some of 'em have prayed too much and others were knocked to the street because there's something in our teeth that won't let us beg or plead-- we have found some dignity shitting on ourselves.
Patterns they are purpling cloth and shadows of the hunt are reflected on the walls in shades of lavender to puce and there's a fox amidst the dogs grinning the complexity of knowledge of the difference in gather of the hunt and I pull a tassel wickedly waiting for the sound of us sniffing for the scent of it behind the heaviness of lust thirsting for a kill amongst the dogs of frisky hungriness wagging in their gatherings ready for the sound of horn nipping at the horses hooves eager for the hunt they want the dog that is the fox....
up a hill
they herd the camouflage
as all the ones
with sporty dots
we had forgot
through the bars
the scribes again
the pin of pupils
in the dark
as if the sun was tarped
darkened for the days....
where no one ever was
the curly snow
the ground that ever is
to conquer beaches
and gathering the hems
like a blanket over me
into the lips and loam
I never owned
is up for grabs again....
want to drink Cuervo sucking lemon chased with a salt-rimmed Ice-cold draft, and talk too much, and laugh too loud and sing off-key with strangers.
I want to eat fried mozarella with jalepenos on the side briny olives floating by twos in my ice-cold draft Boiled shrimp and wide french fries-- all perfect with tequila.
I want to smell the scent of man Feel the bulge in his pants eye him up and center him in the cross-hairs of pure, raw, focus... Jerk the rod. Set the hook and reel him in like a big lazy trout and fuck him until I levitate.
And, if I am so inclined, I'd like to do it again.
I like the smell of sex-- the chemistry of fluids in flux. I like the taste of myself smeared and mingled with that of another.
Exquisite it is-- the stuff of life, teeming with possibilities, leaves metallic flavor, sticks in my throat like wildflower honey awash with antiseptic Cuervo, clean and cold.
I'd like a temporary lobotomy-- head smartly lanced like the ugly boil that it is. All thoughts drained like the bad infection that they are. I'd like to be an idiot-- certified and proud-- just so everybody would stop asking so many damned questions. Douched free of responsiblity by Cuervo Gold and ice-cold beer...
I want cool breezes and fingertips tracing circles of goosebumps on my back in mindless repetition... Warm, soft lips, baptizing me like summer rain falling on a sweaty, wondrous child-- eyes shut tight, arms spread wide, dancing in circles, dizzy with life...
I want to sleep good sweet sleep-- the kind of rest that repairs... I want to visit the Father's house-- rest my head in the bed of all conception...
I want to choose life by death--- by murdering desire.
I might just as well ask for a drink, while my flesh fries in fire.
"Last call..." she whispered warning bell
before she clanged annoying thing
one eye knowingly in wink--
I nodded shots and drinks
"tell the ole boy, that one thar-- his, is on me, too..."
It helps to be within the clique
the lines we blink
and disappear like *snap* and that peruvian at orgies and
this is heaven
and it's hell
but forgetting all of that
it clears the ferals
spraying whelps in nestling
amongst the grasses tall....
"come and join me here, m'friend"
patting on the padded seat
of the stool right next to me
but he did not grab his drink
but nodded to my good barkeep
"bring them all, down there for me..."
as he dragged his own seat down
the only of integrity
the joints were fastened
lock and key
and held his soul complexity
like the rock....
y'see...he was a massive man.
He had to move three stools to sit
and I was touched that he did this--
all of this to talk to me?
for all of, what, some minutes, we,
looked at one another's grin
and downed the cuervo like a sin
we forgot to grieve.
He was missing one eye tooth
I noticed that because he grinned:
"Now what would you do with me?"
I shrugged and said "I bought you drink--
what makes you think there's more to think?"
And that is when he laughed....
and afterwards was when I gasped
knowing I knew God.
"Lock the door," he said to her--
then impatient, shook his head,
"there are things that must be said
and you, my dear, are witnessing
such that does not bear repeat
so I erase your memory--
and henceforth, all the drinks r'on me"
and then I was alone with him
walking on that stupid beach
the one--you know-- with the footprints
and he laughed at me--he laughed--
"I knew that you would hate this shit--
so I did it purposely...
I thought that God was "love."
"What makes you think that I am not?"
He beat the bar so goddamned hard
he had to order two more shots
and I asked him, quivering,
"Say, are you my brother, Keith,
fucking with me now?"
He thought that was funny too.
"Quite a sense of humor, you,"
he drank and sighed and burped a blue
cloud of something in the air--
he frowned and poked it
"that ain't there"
and it was gone and oh-I-swear
that was just what Keith would do...
if he were God or even less.
My sister leaning on the juke--
leaning with the sway of ain't
and my Daddy proud with chalk
eyeing up the challenges
left him on the table--I
was wafting in the saving grace
of leaving eights upon the plate
hanging to the edge of "I"
center of the gravity
if someone sneezed
or someone sighed
pitter patter patter pit--
God, I have so longed for this--
and then the register
and I was there with no one left
as Sandy asked me sweetly as
she is always wont t'do:
Bukowski he'd have hated me but he would have loved my filth and my penchant for a knife but rhyme he would have deemed the sin he'd funnel wine into my mind and call my logic craziness useless in the moment of fucking like two screaming cats and that is all he would have kept-- snarling at the rest of it scratching at the rest of words like his balls and ass--absurd saying: start with this and that would be enough for me.
Just like that- he scratched his chin no, maybe just like this-- like two cats in growling
as he fingered me
wet with ecstacy and wild and glory had become a sin
I would fight three goddamned fifths and at least three and one-half days
just to say "hello" to him knowing that I was cockeyed
and stumbling upon his stoop tossing pebbles overhead aiming for the dread of bitch--
she yells to me: "Oh go away, I am trying to sleep up here-- unless you'd like to suck my cock? quit your tossing goddamned rocks-- besides," he sighed, "the man is queer-- he shoulda toldya that himself..."
then he slammed the window shut and suddenly I wasn't nuts but just a stupid girl in tears
sometimes I smile like Matt Damon yanno that way he has of grin? as though he has an extra ace and it guarantees a win-- he is smooth duplicity and innocence as baby blues entrance attraction charmingly do not see what's up my sleeve distraction and a happy glance and that is just the gloss of man on a real slick magazine... damn I wish I had that grin.
What is this that I have seen perfect teeth imperfectly leaving solid speech and creed in the mortuary's bleed I see the voices hear the feed of hunger and the gnaw of greed and nothing you will ever need is drained into a well.
Strained of all toxicity into the tank that lies beneath the concrete with the praying hands are tweed and tiny photograph
is underneath the...
the goddamned slab
I asked if that thing had a name he said he sniffed he said it had and when I asked him what it was, he said:
"It is a slab."
I knew it was I knew it, yet I needed him to say it
was the truth in drops of rain... the rainbow promising more pain I heaved and wept knowing how she needed that I told him how I'd be back--to check, on him-- "not to talk to her" I said; "I'm quite aware that she is dead
"but you little bastard you had best do what you promised to" and that I knew the name of that-- thing he could not call a slab was the gravest grave of all because we loved her most of all
and I smiled like Matt Damon with one tooth higher than the left and Sister Marguerite, she wept
she she is this restless child mean bird eyes in morningblink and her disgust is rice crispies that she will not eat she won't eat in front of me (she's fat) tossed into the kitchen sink like tea leaves in a pattern they are spattered as defenses bleed and I tell her it's alright and I wish that I could read and never know the truth...
but rice is something that I think ought to be philosophy a study of our nature feeds in fields where doves in breed are shot--
a glass of milk in a house that ain't her home
she tells me that the boy did that and I nod silent reply and then she realized he stood behind her as she lied
"it must have been that little bitch and she's too fat to eat this shit"
"no respect" she mutters mean "disregard of you" I scream silence as apology watching as my daughter cries without a teardrop in her eye
There was an old man
who stood when he could
with a fork pitch when
da weathah was good
there was an old man
a'guardin' the gate
he nevah knew nuttin'
'bout love or no hate
he was just standin'
right there in the way
of the road leadin' home
and all he would say
when asked, step aside
or git outta mah way was the words he was trained
to mutter, he'd say
"Are you expected?"
He knew at a glance.
If you'se was a comin'
to drink and to dance,
"Are you expected?"
A Templar in stead
and Lawd help you Jesus
'if naught, y'was dead.
Crackin' the bones
of the claws of yer home:
A guest who expected
to suck someone's bone
out of the twistedness
fresh from the boil
damp in the listlessness
like dem dat toiled
and thought dey invited
there at the party of
* * *
to come with a price
to make a man mighty
is subtract the nice
of all the eyes glowing
in subtle and bets
were closed at the knowing
of Bayou Segnette.
If you were invited?
quick, ye Confess
there at the party
of his magistrate
a purple ring glowing
and nothing was less
kiss it while knowing
your soul is a death
as you are bending a knee to a god:
was there in the fog
stinking of meat of the crab he had et
A bastard was born and became postulate.
Laughing at eagerness
hungry of eyes...
his horns on the side
of his head
as they kissed
the wrong ring
of the throne
Moulin Rouge knowing
the things that ye owned:
charging with interest
monies and bones
and if you have sense
you will birth only sons--
lest your daughter become
just like you...and y'know
the feel of that same bruise
she will be woman
and beget a price
wearing her heals
and clicking them thrice
And meat off the bones
as they cracked the claws
of the finest crab meat
that fed from the crimes
and the people
at the barrooms
the guard grooms
the Hartz bakery
and La Cage Au Folles
it was there on Fourth Street
and sawdust was proof
on an "honest" man's feet
that he'd been a stray
down the plank and he'd plead:
"Forgive me, my mama,
my wife will be damned!"
His mother could slay him
with back of demand
and ask for her tribute
as green crossed the hand
and grandma would tell ma
"he's being a man"
and allow him
stark white the blinds are up again I like to watch the moon at night and at times I bathe in sheets nuded yellow from street light dimpled through the dreams of these droplets on my window break prisms sparrowing a lake at the bottom of the screen writing elvish in the dirt crooked as the branch that drew these scratchings on my pane that take me past the maps of my bedroom where upon the wall I see patches portraiture of me sitting on the edge of bed brushing knots from out the hair that tangled me within these dreams
and fog is settling concrete deals upon the streets I weep as demons rule the night I loved-- I touch the cold of magnum steel assured I am awake I take a breath before I silhouette my presence framed, my finger sealed on the trigger cocked, I crow
"cock a doodle, doodle don't"
I close my eyes to aim, insane
stark white bright the sun will rise, I am target I'm the lie of everything they never loved I aim an arcade shoot and doves think me crazy anyway as I follow eyeing prey just a step ahead and they will run into a bullet spray and they'd deserve the death (I say) praying I won't have to shoot.
I close my eyes to aim, my friend do you remember, way back when the day you pissed yourself in school? Now I feel that same fear, you felt when you were too afraid to ask permission so you made a puddle on the floor...
The puddle that you'd make today would be much bigger than before and my mind would mop you up endlessly in nightmares born by pulling of this trigger cocked I see you as a little boy standing in the luncheon line always begging for some more as if a bit of applecrunch foreshadowed this a need to score beyond a line of what's enough--
and so I close my eyes to aim because I love you anyway and I don't want to watch you bleed from the bullet that I freed to save myself from you...
If one of us must die?
* * *
note: This poem was posted in an open forum at another site and removed due to graphic content. I wrote this poem in exasperation of the climbing murder rates and gang activity in my hometown of New Orleans, pre-Katrina, without accompanied CNN advertisement. I think had I wrote this during the CNN sweep week of riotous activity, my exasperation would not have been filed away behind a closed door, but embraced as a political statement.
I have builded bundles
in dry sage stem
I learned to sing
from quarters thrown:
elhohim el - ho - him - heh
rocking San Miguel
spitting brandy to the flame
cradling the asp, her arc
slithering her bendi arm
for a hint of that the whites of eyes sing rounds of shock
el - ho - him- qa
heh - qaph
I have secrets
and tongues of angels
the sounds of mystery
pointed craven to the sky
as stars appear where none were there
humbled by the grace
of knowledge that the pain is heard
honored by the ache
a simple line in trace of dust
The Horus Eye
a signal of the traveled trust
between two strangers at a well
eyes upon them from the walls
where suspicion dwells
by the meeting of the two
cautious as the camels drank
aware of all the village eyes
they watched them there 'til they dispersed
then searched for signs within the sand
erased by caution of the foot
in gather at the well, they were
discussing tides and nets, they left
the virgin offering her spoon
in spill of that which quenches thirst
dripping drops upon her breast
in failure of Hebraic test
she feared the one eyed noon.
Deign to drink of such herself
although the sun had scorched her tongue
she turned to where the elders dwelled
and spilled deliberate and crooned
prayer for self is shadowed hope
the shade was dropped from upper room--
she dropped the bucket down the well
and waited for the sound of "soon."
For as her Lord was served, she knew
the spirit from the water sighed
and left no words to testify
as salt became the alibi
and rivers from the mountain die
but tears do not know end.
* * *
An answer to my son, who wondered, after watching me cry much too long, "where do tears come from?"
* * *
Another poem, posted, re-Katrina, and may my son know the place of joys, where all tears end.
I stand over him and think we have everything it takes for a classic to be lived the journey of the hero is nothing more than folks like us doing unexpectedly the thing that's most miraculous living righteous anyway in spite of ports mysterious gnarling finger beckoning with palms in lean of heaviness of coconut and jumping fish in lagoons of promising and sirens whipping currents in to tides that we don't mind it is tempting to release the knots of sails in tatter to the fray fighting weary winds
letting loose of all the loss heavy chests of gold-glimmed gems to the bottom of the sea swimming to the beach to be all alone together in a test of wits and love is this:
braided palms and vines entwined and daily our attentiveness of oils and necessity of survival's loyalty when we must and when we had each other for our company
then, I think we had a chance and the love was grander than some two minute ritual in the morning bladder full wishing you were faster than one point five nine minutes as I time my lack of sleep.
We could be mythology. We could be as gods again. We could teach some seminars and tell the others how to be
They act as if I do not know or somehow can't remember when all I had to do was grease the wheel and make connections sure again
They seem to think I am obsessed with myself and they are right there is shit that floats the air and keeps us all awake at night
my husband is a junkie, still, he orders off the internet and I am waiting for the knock of someone who just didn't get
of what's become of us...
and no, it ain't the worst, that is, as I suppose, I could dream worse and it's as if I had a fit as sure as shutting of my eyes and you know g'damned well, I will and yeah, I know the spiritual of how they'll say that I chose this: And every little teeny bit was something so designed as if
to make it matter afterall...
Yes, it's true it could be worse I could have been Rwandan cursed by the color of my skin and made to walk a Trail of Tears embodied by my government
so much rage in me, y'see? why I feel the need to hide I am the jagged bitter edge and I wish that I had died
floating so heroically
across yer tv screen I screamed: "Don't talk of us as if we're dead!" and I wept a ceaceless stream