Unreal voice from my past, who are you?
I suspect I know you. I suspect I do not.
I ask again, who speaks?
Ah yes, so it’s you,
my elder near-twin:
same home, same school, same grandmother,
same uncles, same aunts minus one
and different mothers.
Sixteen years, no twenty have passed,
since we last met or talked.
You remember our cousin’s wedding,
way back in the previous millennium:
really, in the previous millennium.
Millennia change in a moment, not pass, you see.
You sound strange, unknown, and then confident.
I sound hesitant, tentative, and then confident.
We are both professionals with over twenty years
over our first twenty and two more.
We are good at sounding confident
even when we aren’t, at least I am.
Twenty years is a lifetime.
Many were born, many died in that span.
Generations passed, if not ages and now,
you speak of my next;
I keep silent about your previous,
I don’t have anything else to speak
It should end now, the call.
We know, I know, you know
that this visit may be your last.
You know, I know that you know,
but hope I am wrong,
this call is the last.
Wearing this mask
in childhood of winter
something rattles bones
ominous prey of fair weather
eyes bulge out
overwhelmed at sights of
skies darkening, a glint of hope
that night falls and dusk is
lenses prowl, overarching
spots like dew fall on sodden ground.
Living is for every archaic purpose
moments tie up with blues.
Juggle with words
open your mouth
it is dry, the blood is running
out of time.
You sit in the creaky chair,
in the kitchen, near the island,
while cats congregate.
We converse of
bad and good things to come,
and how I have to keep you going
since I have already lost one.
I often see thorns in sidewalks.
One day, they will bloom,
and turn slab concrete gray into cardinal reds.
Let time enfold, or float,
as our minds unwind.
Use the dustpan and
sweep everything evil under the rug.
Clutter-free. Like the infomercial says.
We’re cracking open thermometers with erection pills and scented candles
I’m afraid I’m in love with everybody
But a lot of people have high expectations when snow’s dead and buried
We’re writing eulogies in grease on bathroom walls
Everybody’s never full and the fun parts of us burn with something that isn’t quite desire
But I don’t think there’s a word for it yet
It’s a little more complicated than that, because it’s tough to preserve what makes us great
But we try – there are invisible wrecking balls following us around
So just live while you can I guess – like we have about two months
To kiss everybody we want to kiss, to climb trees in parkways
And shake the hands of branches that touch the sun
To maybe dance in the moonlight when there’s grass on the ground
And music in the air because although the snow is beautiful
We stuff blizzards with everything that makes us sad
And then we build snowmen in our backyards of everybody who has never loved us back
And then we wait for the heat to rise so those memories melt into water
And we can wash our faces with it
From eternally open windows,
you hear wind cavorting through palms,
a downpour, quick and sudden as a brushstroke,
the east-west dispersal of the waves.
Your body feels like a puddle on the sheets,
but your head’s perfect
now the ears have replaced the eyes,
tones filling in for hues,
the air outside for canvas.
Was that the fat woman whose legs
slapped together as she walked?
Or the fishmonger pushing his cart?
Or young girls giggling?
Unwashed, unfed, bed blisters,
a cobalt colored cough…
and yet gold bodied nudes pose
on the walls around you,
bathed in frond and pool and frangipani,
above cane chairs where friends,
ghosts and real, have sat and argued.
You’re still strong enough to live
but not to do what’s in you.
The next painting will have to struggle
with your weary body, fermenting lungs,
hands that no longer can do ordinary tasks.
You sacrificed everything to color.
Now the colors keep their distance,
as if there’s no way to repay.
A woman enters, once your lover,
now your nurse.
Your next work will be
the face of one who does not
wish to see you suffer.
Always the artist,
your breath sketches
while it can.
mysterious Amerikan knight woman
sea dogs at her feet
punch-drunk, shipwrecked on the island
offering waves, phallic foam
coral reefers- echo boom
sploosh- goop- fwoosh
salt caked ragamuffins with little boy fantasies
dream storm babies sitting atop a broken mast
Quentin rubbing lantern oil on Bob’s back
Bob nervous in the groin
Hi, thanks for the nice intro—
But I don’t play a musical instrument.
I can’t sing worth a prayer.
I don’t write poetry
And I can’t tell a joke to save my life.
I do carry a gun.
I shoot people.
Better call the authorities before it’s too late.
This place is packed.
Someone is sure to die.