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Rimbaud watches me lay waste

his eyes like a rat's

from the bathroom tile

Christ watches me defile

atop high throne of bedroom wall

clock face keeps beat

as moans become wails

as ghosts grow taller

women grow older, shrinking

cars breed iron oxide, collapsing

on cinder blocks out window scrapyards

near hole in plaster

I turn to you like a child,

my cement blocks bleeding

"I hurt my hand"
85 and off the ladder

picking leaves from the gutter

Wife soon after

They found her dentures

on the kitchen tile


A few weeks later the neighbor

still in her sunhat and green gloves

hose running in her hand

Felled by a bee hiding in her marigolds.

Then her dog,

Went to live with someone else

But wouldn’t eat.

Wasn’t long before the flowers went too.

Eaten up in the dried, cracked soil.


The houses went up for sale

Little signs sitting innocently

In the front lawns:

“So & So Realty”


Pretty soon

some lovely young couples moved in

Had children

Bought a dog

Cleaned gutters

Planted more marigolds

Watched the rain run down

The window

And the reaper grinned

A little More than usual.
father awakened

beckoned by bathroom in night

his death approaching like headlights in

rear-view

in cars he careened into cornfields so

long ago

in women he obsessed over

poured over while rolling tea

in records he flips through

languidly

suffering alone, retracting into song

crucifix still hung over his jaded bedpost

lotion still sits on by his bed

where he lay debased and tempted

by nothing

while his house breaths fissures

and crumbles

where his legacy sits truncated and dusted

in books of song

carpet collecting impressionistic stains

stove top counting days with soot

medicine cabinet reminds of his frivolous

youth

when he was foolish and paid bills

before he was afraid to climb his creaking

stairs

before he delivered flowers to the funeral

home

before the acetaminophen ate his soul
I reach for the beer glass

but the glass isn't much.

I reach the paper

but the parchment has gone stale

and crumbled


I reach for the woman

for thigh

for small of the back,

but she has taken

into unshaven arms

of sleep

and snores


I Reach for the pill

but someone's hid the bottle.

Whiskey makes me sweat

great floods of violence,

sharp words with dagger tongues.

Beer boils yearning

into my blood.


So I reach

for the words

but they too

have dried, withered,

and no longer make sense.
America, unveiled in frugal agendas

secreted in roots of regal cypress

terminal in nature, resounding.

There has died and been buried,

a man so little known,

his flock of fledglings, so rarely

returned, echoed youthful

calls and whistles across spirits

of tomorrow. Young men beating

chests of perpetual, salacious sentiments, heralding: patriotic, passionate, eternal,

pestilent, dogmatic, sick. Hopeless aptitude lost

in pits, in trenches, in arrogant proposal,

monuments of soils erected

in earnest, divided in expectation,

by a standard of worthiness.

Casting shadows like youthful sorrows upon barren grounds such are souls.

The ringing charges they powdered

in optimistic principle besiege

timeless yods of heroism

laid upon an altar for remembrance.

A Hymn of servitude now sung

there, for those crushed beneath

crops of civility. Lecherous fathers

battling the sick condition of men

harvested on Little Round Top,

down Devil’s Den,

in the Best Western

Quality Inn.

every bone in glory

rest there.
It is good

to have the eyeliner pencils on the sink,

leg razors in the shower,

yellow underwear on the tile.

It is good

to hear her quietly snore

as her feet barely touch mine.

It is good

to eat chicken and corn,

and leave for work in the morning

with a kiss.

It is good

to make love when we can

and dream about it on the days we can't.
Secret thoughts like raindrops

on the rings of Saturn,

things forever lost

float into mind

on rivers of golden words

written with budding lips,

scribbled by satirically serious fingers,

or pounded with mechanical keys,

portable, painful, with ribbon tedious to thread.

My darling Olive

with your boxy frame,

sky white skin

and sticky fingers.

how methodical and slow

our fighting dance.

How joyful

the new agonies that await us.

Joyful new crimes, joyfully jogging type bars, joyfully resisting

joyful beneath

Shuddering, trembling,

flowing over with sweat and *******.

Pulling men to flame

ripping off their wings

Ripping men into

meandering, lost thought vehicles,

perpetual machines of confusion and shame.

Ripping men into ribcages,

pulling at the sinew

until we actually have become moths.

Flesh turned inside out

With the smallest words imaginable.

Men slunk to sand

With the smallest words imaginable.

Determination set to dust

with the smallest words imaginable.

Women shredding men into typewriter ribbons,

with the smallest words imaginable.

“I Hate You”

pulling cupboards out of walls,

breaking bathroom faucets,

“I Love You”

pulling the skin off

like socks.
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