Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Soundtrack to the Crating of The Coronation of the Virgin by Tiepolo



Tugging on their blue rubber gloves, they prepare to gingerly pack away the Virgin, just as she’s on the verge of being crowned Queen of Heaven by her proud old man. The bearded geezer is just about to drop the crown upon her noggin when the ceremony is interrupted by the sweaty preparators as they start to pack away the seraphim and putti, the heavenly hosts clutching their lutes and trumpets, pack away her son who still drags that cross through the clouds, which also find themselves swaddled in foam and nestled into a wooden crate heavy as a coffin. Standing outside the closed door of the gallery, I think I hear the angels faintly singing, but it's just some hip hop leaking from a passing girl’s headphones.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Scrub



Crunch along a creek bed of cornflakes,
a casket bobbing in a sea of shriveled petals.
You picture a distant bathtub,
your bloated belly an island
with only one distinguishing feature:
a shallow crater filled with ticking suds.
All the water has drained out around you,
leaving only a bar of soap, a sodden rag.
Bubbles ooze from your sockets
like the compound eye of some clean insect.
Snapping turtles fill the sink,
their claws slipping on the smooth, dry porcelain.
You follow the drip stains down the drain
into darkness, holding on
to the dangling chain of the plug.
The bathroom mirror of your face
Is held together with duct tape.
The hot and cold taps are handcuffed together.
There’s a pail waiting beneath the crack
and a pan beneath the pail and a towel
beneath the pan. A vast reservoir
has been rendered undrinkable
by the proliferation of microorganisms.
A mesh of bacteria stretches
like a layer of gauze across the pond,
sticky stones and greasy reeds
and a bed sheet of algae tucked so tightly
you can’t breathe out. Peel open
one crusty eye, pry the tongue
from the roof of your mouth. Nothing around you
but dehydrated miles. Scour the scorched seed husks
for any molecule of moisture. Plunge your hands
into the crisp leaves and wash
your face in powder. Pray for a breeze
to brush you away like a fleck
of dry skin.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Formica Tuxedo (Saturday Night at the Matador)



A shelf filled with crème de menthe, the DJ playing
50 Cent on his laptop, The Defiant Ones with Closed Captioning
on the flatscreen behind the bar
I’m slippery within my sleeves, elbows creaking
on the cracked laminate, I tattooed your face
on my chest so we’ll be buried together after all,
it’s snowing sawdust in here, the walls crowded
with paintings of bullfighters on velvet
and pasteboard, sneering in their Mickey Mouse Club
hats, snapping their rags at the lowered horns
of their porterhouse partners. The door flies open
with a waft of sulfur from the fireworks skimming
across the asphalt, and in stampedes a herd
of shimmering girls screaming “It’s Jello shot o’clock!”
before dipping into their purses for their IDs.
The bar beneath my hands is covered
with overlapping rings of cheap Mexican beer sweat.
The urinals in the men’s room are the size of
claw foot bathtubs. I would like to be buried in one,
curled up like a mummified desert rebel
can of Tecate in one hand
torero pants folded neatly over my arm

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pilgrim


My skin keeps splitting
and I keep stitching it shut,
not yet ready to molt and discard
my beloved husk.
The eggshell keeps cracking
and I keep attempting
to glue the shards back in place
around my wet and trembling frame.
I refuse to believe
that these knobs of flesh
that sprout from my wriggling belly
could really be legs.
I will scream to the world
that these buds sprouting
from my shoulder blades
must be something –anything- other
than fucking wings.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Julius

     A black mongrel with bloodshot eyes slobbers noisily, panting hot gusts of fetid breath. I live inside its mouth. The floor is slimy, the walls are sticky, the stench is suffocating. The black rubbery lips pull back, the jaws snap. I burrow deep into the gums to avoid the tide of kibble, barely crunched as it's swallowed; the flood of brackish water, the occasional writhing, screaming thing. And then of course there's the traffic heading the other way, a rising wall of half-digested filth hurled from the depths of that same black cavern I spend most of my days avoiding being sucked into. And the tongue! That horrible, flopping slab of carrion which slurps the face and anus of every creature unfortunate enough to cross its path. I live for the hours when the brute sleeps, twitching and snorting with thuggish dreams but otherwise still. I savor those brief interludes when the deep bellowing roogs and woofs stop echoing through my skull. One might reasonably inquire why I remain in this foul domicile. I wonder myself sometimes as I cling for dear life to the nearest canine, waiting for the rush of meat to subside.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

ukulele



in my little black book i 
sketch you sitting on 
the hotel bed playing your 
ukulele
off key
out of tune
this is probably the happiest
i have ever been
perhaps ever will be
i never want to think 
of this again 

i left the book with the 
drawing behind
when I ran off
i wonder if you still have it
i doubt it
your glasses 
your tiny brown hands plinking
strumming
the creases in the corners 
of your smile
your legs beneath
your yellow dress
I draw you sitting 
on the bed
off key
out of tune
I never want 
to think of this 
again 

the knife of it
the bottle of it 
the long sharp teeth of it 
the open palm of it
this false 
this flimsy
this easily burnt away
easily left behind
impossible to recover from 
happiness
with its flimsy strings
ever, ever
again