Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Organize Ghost Drawer

Here is the new book
At long last, the last of the poems from the now-defunct Carrion Call blog, plus some extra stuff that never made its way out there.

Organize Ghost Drawer

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mitch Sings Kiss and Say Goodbye by The Manhattans



It was at one of those soul-sucking holiday parties 
that we first heard him sing, our squat, hirsute co-worker,
waddling along the corridors with his Swiffer,
rump bulging like a pumpkin in his Dickies.
He was reticent about his personal life, we knew only 
that he was a purveyor of Miller High Life and Perry Mason.
For that year’s party, the company rented a space
in the basement of an old bank, next to the old vault.
They set up a karaoke machine next to the pile
of white elephant gifts, and he took the microphone
and sang not one, not two, but three songs by Styx.
We were all stunned. There he was,
this odd little man, belting out these terrible 
soft-rock hits in the most angelic falsetto. 
We were all completely smitten, and while we did
laugh amongst ourselves, we were secretly 
genuinely impressed, moved even, and from then on 
would try to get him to sing on the job, but he never would.
Then the other day we were all down in the lunch room
and one of the Mexican girls was talking about 
old soul music, and there was one song in particular 
she loved but didn’t know the name of.
She played it for us on her phone, and suddenly 
he was singing along, standing in front of
the bulletin board with the job postings and safety notices,
belting it out, and the Mexican girls and I
sat around the table mesmerized, applauding
when he finished. He smiled and blushed and shuffled off 
to clock back in, to return to polishing 
and mopping and taking out the garbage 
and refilling the empty toilet paper dispensers
in silence, perhaps humming to himself
when no one else was around.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Temptation of Franz Von Stuck

I am curled in a hollow between two rocks
The space between two bodies
My silhouette defined by the two
Curvaceous female forms
Curled head to toe on either side
My hooded head is bowed.
My hands are clasped -veins bulging,
Knuckles popping -safely folded
Beneath my robes, protected from
The cool blue slither of these sirens’
Breasts, their bellies. Their fingers
Spider along my knee, my ear, their tongues 
Dart incessantly from dark, oily lips.
Dusty water trickles down the mountainside
In a vain attempt to suckle the desert.
Every time I try to leave this world,
These two try lure me back 
With the yin and yang of their ripe flesh. 
Twin halves of a fruit of which I am the core,
Rattling with withered seed.
I am the axle of their wheel,
They roll and spin and try to suck me down the stony slopes 
To the pit below, and though  I do not move, I am still dragged,
Stone-faced and stoic, along that winding road,
Down toward wretched salvation

Toward blissful doom



Friday, February 14, 2014

Under the Impala



I awaken on my friends’ sofa
and gaze up at the slender neck
jutting from the wall, the horns twisting
toward the ceiling
and think of you, your voice softer and higher
than I’d expected, younger sounding.
I reach for my glasses, stare at the black glossy eyes
that reflect the adjacent pronghorn head,
the stoic coyote, the scaly caiman.
I yawn and stretch out and picture your smile,
with the lipstick you’ve recently taken to wearing 
which I like to think is for my sake, even though 
I know it’s probably not. Butterflies and scorpions
cover the walls, pinned side to side.
I think about kissing you. The civet frozen 
mid-snarl, the iguana with its tail eternally raised 
like a threatening lash. I wish I could tell you, 
wish I was not such a coward.
Skulls scattered around the house
swallow me with their dry, empty sockets.
One goat skull sprouts two stubby horns
fused into one. I try to coax you
from my mind, free myself of all thought of you.
The finches awaken in the other room, chirruping
and fluttering against the bars. Upstairs my friends,
married ten years, are still snoring.
Two goat hearts float together in a jar;
I still see them when I close my eyes,
these eyes of a solitary animal trying
to get back to sleep, hoping to find you
waiting there.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Apricot Thong


If you are taking me back to the house
to meet your fiancée
I assume we’re beyond honesty
that we’re done with gazing into
one another’s eyes
and pouring out our hearts
and revealing our deepest
most intimate etceteras
Your dog greets us at the front door,
fiancée is in the kitchen,
both of them so happy to see you.
You lead me on a tour of the house,
his house, though it belongs to you
as well now, and I get to see
every room, even the bedroom,
which I merely peek into just long enough
to notice a thong the color of your flesh
-beige, or maybe apricot- twisted up
lying on the unmade bed
I tell you how nice the place is
I pet your dog and then
you drive me back
We don’t say much, you don’t
ask what I think of anything,
which is good, because
I want you to be happy, and I want
to convince myself you are
and we’re past the point of
having to tell one another
some truth which neither of us has
any use for anymore, which at this point
can only do us harm.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Mayakovsky in the Shell of Reactor Number Four



He stands beneath the chemical chandelier
anxiously waiting for it to spray its toxic light
upon his upturned face. He grins with anticipation.
His skin is scarred with acid, pocked
with tiny burns. Confetti spills from
the hole in his forehead. He keeps poking at it,
then cursing himself for his weakness.
His veins twitch and jump, his chest knocks and rattles
like a bucketful of ping pong balls. His hands
fell off and the doctors sewed them back on
the wrong wrist; now they crawl of their own accord
across his body, hairy tarantulas he does his best
to ignore. He looks at the window
at the things dragging themselves through the ash.
The air is sour cream.
He gags on mouthfuls of the wet, gloppy fur
that sprouts from his tongue. His teeth glow
in the dark. His underpants are stained
with leaking boron. A week from now,
he will write his goodbye note in lipstick
on the floor of the guinea pig cage,
then cover it over with cedar chips, breathing deep
the sharp, clean smell of the shavings before
crossing the room to check the levels
one last time.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tallow


Your ghost appears to me in the night
and beckons, flickering like 
a ribbon of flame, begging me to fuck it
...and I do, as much as one can fuck
a non-corporeal being, in other words
with some difficulty. You keep slipping 
from my grip like a wisp of smoke. Your flesh, 
what I can feel of it, is not warm but cold. 
It’s like humping a pile of soft, powdery snow 
that melts the instant you touch it.
Part of me is destroyed every time
I engage in this spectral intercourse,
I don’t mean in the sense of
“la petit mort” as the French 
so charmingly put it, even if that 
milky spirit that flies from within me
does resemble a specter. Every time 
I awaken from one of these wet nightmares
I find my soul slightly shriveled,
there is a little less of me left
-the candle's diminishing wick-
until the day when I am merely a stub
of my former self, unable to engage
in any further bouts of necrophilia,
and there’s nothing more I can do
but wait for the day when I finally have 
as little substance as you,
when we are just two phantoms
inseparable from one another
or the ether we fumble together in
forever. 

Your ghost appears to me in the night
...and here I feel compelled to confess
that you are not here of your own accord.
I am the one who summons you here,
I am the one who interrupts your evening 
with my erotic séance. I’m the one who forces you 
to haunt me, I’m the one who will not let you rest
I'm the one who refuses to let go
who is driven night after night
to punish us both.