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Naked you are simple as one of your hands;
Smooth, earthy, small, transparent, round.
You've moon-lines, apple pathways
Naked you are slender as a naked grain of wheat.

Naked you are blue as a night in Cuba;
You've vines and stars in your hair.
Naked you are spacious and yellow
As summer in a golden church.

Naked you are tiny as one of your nails;
Curved, subtle, rosy, till the day is born
And you withdraw to the underground world.

As if down a long tunnel of clothing and of chores;
Your clear light dims, gets dressed, drops its leaves,
And becomes a naked hand again.
Universal Thrum Jul 2018
I'm leaving Carly's place after an all day ****** that had me convinced that paradise lay in the legs of Nate's sister wearing a unicorn onesie, and as they put on Sgt. Peppers and lay there the ****** freudian passion play overcame my capacity for archetype observation and I proceeded to walk around the room thanking everybody in that space and time for the gift of starting the **** with Nate's sister, the beat changed and they turned on me and said I needed to give her space, they all became timeless aliens traveling through time to **** and I was one of them coming online in a loop, and as long as I stayed awake I would remember and not be *****. I sat cross legged holding my friend sams hands, looking into his eyes, saying aloud we're creating the universe constructing all as the three smartest people of all time, forever throughout we died but never died, as long as we could stay awake, they all wore red and I couldn't trust any of them, I fired off mad questions and demanded to know the secrets of the universe and why woman wasn't the answer, I called up to nate to bring her down to me, and generally became a raving lunatic
      after some time of sam being soulmate and accepting him forever as my lover self same image, and also calling him ugly as im ugly, then channeling Brittany through him and countless other regressive exercises, we started inhaling nitrous gas, and the world became one stretched out moment
       and I kept calling out before, all the way up, as it were the secret spell with a handshake to fool the devil
         I thought Nate a mad spirit habituating this plane as a long gone failed hero plagued by the madness of wanting to **** his sister and forced to watch all his friends be aware of their own lust, so that pushed him into clowning, which he is an expert, that primal lust took me up and id taken a holy mandate to **** this beautiful creature and ascend to paradise,
when they slipped her upstairs they left her rainbow onesie, i felt heaven become another step remote and my faith tested, I resolved to be the last awake and never die, I walked up to the attic, and saw the light beaming from the window


            Sam dropped me off at the press grill so I could eat some grub,
then I met up with Tyler for a drink somewhere while he told me his story of meeting a guy in a skyline chilis bathroom drunk at 3 am, he said the guy was standing at the ****** but wasn't *******. Ty asked him if he was done and the guy put Ty in a chokehold with his pants down, according to Ty the cops came in and he was putting clean shots into the guys mug, he is contemplating leaving town before they can indict him for felonious assault, I told him Canadas nice but Venezuela doesn't have an extradition treaty, come to think of it neither does Cuba, but Ty is too proud for that probably
   anyways we meet Carly being a dancing beauty in a high falootin joint with string lights called Julep, the only reason to mention it is because as we were leaving a guy was bent over the rail vomiting and looking wretched he noticed us watching him as we smoked our cigarettes off to the side and immediately decided that he wasn't some kind of side show freak to be gawked at, he became threatening in the most base and pathetic way a human can, and his bride came to tell us to ******* with her father, father of the bride shaking my hand, we eventually left that scene and walked to Oddfellows where I saw Sam Cohan and he bought me a beer, good chap, we talked until I stepped toward Carly, Tyler and a fine looking strange *****
I touched Carly and received an awkward unmemorable introduction to the strange *****. She walked away but lurked and locked eyes with me as the evening rolled on
later Carly told me that the girl demanded to meet the guy who looks like Heath Ledger, a sure fire ****, so Carly is grinding on my **** and my backs to the bar and Tyler already got me a beer, and there I was, a pirate king
I took Carly out after the lights came on, and was going to give Tyler the run of my place, he disappeared into the night and I showed Carly my favorite smelling tree, a pink mimosa still in bloom late July, we almost ****** on my car, until I went back to her place and we ****** until $430, rising at noon, I left telling her we had an hour to get ready to journey to Findlay for Jim's wedding
I showered and brushed my teeth and collected my suit and put it on without a tie
I picked up Carly and set out upon the road, but made a quick stop for a bite
two deaf guys ordered in front of me and the kid working the register said my glasses were cool, along the way I was telling Carly the story of how I wore make up for the first time to a middle school dance, and she said she had to *****, I didn't believe her at first until she tried to stick her head out the window half way rolled down, I managed to get it down all the way and wet streaks of human gut waste caught the wind and splattered my window
we pulled over and I went to get her some napkins to clean herself off as I squeeged the car, she tried to wipe the window with the napkins, sweet girl. The wedding started at 3:30 and we didn't have more than five minutes to spare, she found her vape pen 20 minute out as Heather started to send me worried messages, as I was set to read a passage, little did I know that I was leading off the whole affair, I arrived and was quickly rushed to meet the mothers and have a boutonnière pinned to my lapel , the women all looked stunning and I congratulated each in turn as they shoved a program in my hand, Tiffany took me through the drill, we walked up to the stage and took our places on the bench, looking out at the beautiful shining faces,


I was the only one not wearing a tie, but thats not important, I saw Jim and embraced him with all the love I could muster, he looked at me and said that he knew I would make it, that he knew that he just had to trust the flow, and I would appear in the nick of time, the pastor threw his hands in the air and welcomed the families, the mothers lit candles, and then Tiffany looked at me and said that it was my turn, I stepped up to the Beema and gazed out over the crowd, trying to summon something clever, nothing good came to mind and so I opened my mouth and said, "a reading from Genesis" and then put every fiber of my being into reminding the room that it is Gods will that we be fruitful and multiply. I'm told I slammed my hands down for emphasis and let out a hearty amen, a man's man's amen, and turned and took one giant step off the podium with two baby stairs, I gracefully flowed into the bench having averted a complete embarrassment, and then tactfully left the stage with Tiffany after her read.   Jim looked at me after mine with a nod, and I said the word strong, that read cemented my status as a star of the party, and the mojo flowed, I was called the cash guy by the hotel, for checking in as Atlantis Grosshammer, $200 depost, we drank and danced and an old lady came to me to say that I have a beautiful soul
I thanked Jim's father for helping to create my friend, and danced around bottles
the cake was good
I told Carly I always catch the brides garter, at every wedding I've ever been. I saw Jim's men assemble for his toss, I let the men come and put myself in the mix, Jim turned his back and had a misfire,
the temptation to collect it passed all of us by thankfully, and he was set to fire again, it came to me and I snatched it out of the air, cold as ice I walked off the floor only with eyes for Carly not even saying a word to Jim, I put that thing on my head and went back to Jim threw him on my shoulders and swung him around like we were in a broadway musical
two kids playing in the street,
he said its the best moment, and so it goes
John F McCullagh Nov 2016
Now there are none left, none who commanded the stage.
Kennedy, Khrushchev and Fidel; history has turned the page.
Revolution ran hot in his blood, and for that his countrymen paid.

Cuba was once a prosperous land, rich earth and a favorable clime.
The mob was entrenched in Havana hotels and singers performed for their dime.
Resentment and envy in the hearts of the poor convinced young Fidel it was time.

In Cuba today their cars all can do sixty, years I mean, not MPG.
Physicians and nurses all earn less than cabbies, what use is a college degree?
The poor are still poor; they just have a new master. Only now they are even less free.

Fidel was a man with a secular faith; in fact was a prophet of gloom.
We plotted to **** him with exploding cigars but the dammed things failed to go “boom”
I still can remember tense days one October and the sense of impending doom.

Socialism is great- until the money runs out, as old Maggie Thatcher opined.
When Russia collapsed, Cuba imploded, and Che has been dead a long time.
Today Fidel burns, perhaps some will mourn; others will think it Divine.
Fidel Castro, dead at ninety
Terry Collett May 2016
It’s hot and you don’t feel
Like sitting down to write
The postcard to the parents,

But it has to be done or they’ll
Worry and Father will have
One of his turns and Mother

Will be flapping round like
A **** hen with no head, so
You take a chair by the window

Of the Hotel Cuba and think
What to write, what to put
Down in the limited space

Allowed, and not to write
Anything that’ll stir Father’s
Christian sensibilities or

Mother’s little world of tea
And visits and afternoon naps
And speaking to the canary

Who doesn’t speak back.
You wait for Humphrey to
Come back from the bar

Hoping he’ll come up with
Things to say, but he doesn’t
Show and its getting late

And it’s been a busy day and
The night looms large and
You want Humphrey at his

Best, not too boozed, not
Distracted, and on the whole
He’s quite a fair catch, knows

How to please a girl, keep her
On her toes and back and that
Thing he does with the…Dear

Father and Mother, Cuba’s quite
A place…there was this man
Who kissed my hand and Dear

Humphrey said…the sun’s warm
And the food is out of this world
…I can dance the latest dances

Here, nothing that is suspect or
Need worry you…I will send this
Postcard in the morning, God I’m

Tired, keep on yawning, must be
The heat… You sit back and put
Down the pen and look up as

Humphrey returns doing some
Movements with his feet to some
Music playing and he smiles and

Winks and does a twirl…Sleep tight
Parents…it’s going to be one of
Those night for she's a naughty girl.
A GIRL WRITES A POST CARD TO HER PARENTS FROM CUBA
Scott M Reamer Apr 2013
Man life know just set eyes way like young world soul day hunger space mouth earth thoughts ignorance blind things mind knew final moment human creation kind creatures souls high forgotten dream love spoke self existence face holy deep bound think home void say surrender ear forever called held ephemeral red state end shall heed hope edge living waking fall sea wake garden need February thought past wanderer got men page colored tepid terrible **** proudly untitled features point painted faceless box forgot render wild spring splendor  handfuls looking half brain lost torn ancestral  unseen vision inner summer honor mister owned banner save today fear groans wasn't smoke  street fable strange year contrast black years  able pain body spoken word known motion  palpitate reeling nature culture disclaimers  cancer beg attentive frames ****** base profound double remember wholly finger death token  cries continue folk oh fishing form broken true  divides spread ah twas away breathe wait warning hallowed wish closer lens turn eye live  constant current author hung theory dangle  bramble chemical new force changes adderall  anymore giving beneath possess pardon commentaries eternity internal walk reason  long change does idea glimpse consciousness  wandering simply wonder physical dreams war  sleep told rest benign prior begging truth little  2012 born tale crow bowels allegory animal rule  exasperate making horse curse hands ones read  rearrange capture doing command fail awake  aperture seedlings shift steely sir nap spead ****** demons slits clever telling loud spits la-la-di-dah killing slip game reflected nameless ask  lovers rabid bear salivate plunder shameless  famously savior mint rides menthol bully fate traded melodies play misunderstand mammals gentle witless fine utterly savage silt tongue-less  dirt dilutes pure non-sensory taste briefly ravage dismember it''ll shedding ruined curtain  knots offers plot fulfills munificent two-act  relegates boxz bug altruistic wintergreen tossing  callously guise grovels one's singers treachery ashes mid-life mutter fashion parading  ambiguity separatist liars staple steeping neath  guidelines scoffing stitch moans civil wrote  Fictitious undoing fables table effigies serve  sonnets staged remark psalm swoll praise harken  beggar verse bread lines heavily electricity detection snow sack-happy preaching credit  spotted wicked best gravity gun campaign owe  barge choir revelry celebratory satiated sinking  headline pack hound persistently propaganda  gentlemen excluding diminished ******* run idles  occupied levies wolfishly honestly misinformation cuba vehemently dumb grace spectator erasing  toned sage crowded secrets inter-connectivity  loaned prayer hymns grave mistaken magnified  vandals selective jump leak escapes says minister  buckle mass honesty shut tar children's hats  monument doping long-lived electrical ladle  exaggerated cartoons address seconds cool cradle bleak yang's mind-framed hypnotic  walker caps folly treble claim streaks mixtures  swelled interstate elapse teasing spoon mobile  succulent witchcraft borderline fatal 99 temple stacks sups plastics creeps neurotic ills tossed  meek sipping old crack interlock wax alleyway  coughing blown freak clock birthdays societies  slow flashing viscous candy argument toothless  pills cerebral rapt wall bisect lives wheezing  photo kid starter foiled pair saturated self-castrating pre-packed naked uncertainly pill  used came chaos coated reprisal fells wrack  irreverent mirth sickly disinherited proudest  collate wheeze appearance palette disharmony  discontented bastardized emotive bio inhale diction beat spoiled reclamation loudest tempo  totally disembodied matte imperfect shells flat  struck sounding imparts flak origin severance remarked bone walls snared leaflets mocking  hot scripting adjective noun agape seemingly  resistant gawk calamity passage paintings wind  trashcans signings sits cheap makers poetry persist scrap slipping individual talk wonders  leaving questions fold actor fancy parchment  fates engenders flown jaws stripped longer music  sacrifice fakers book boldly frown sigh atop patient hang trade occupation blows spectacular  whispers worthy backward waving certainty danced suppose needn't ‘drawkcab’ second-guessing  boys forget marched motto heads tightly lies two-tone earthbound harp twice turns goodnight  lying ***** internally indiscriminate nickname  drunk convictions myth steep  in-consumption  fitting artist **** universal sick expressions bad  du spell melody big siphon proud learn sprawls song spastic something temperaments utter check  fissures stomp totality blend definitely thrall sing rug voice shade pestilence ties commiserate round devil steady brains emotional certain gate  suckling gates dearth decay weight bounce pound  carrier pangs glass startle contest earthen web  tug pressed air patience flush amassed guest gone apprehension staring empathize captain believe fading in-perceivable deathbed guarder makes surrounds scatter drooling ebb blink cob tome  venom near door lair derision draws host stairs scent parts curiosities spider webbing surprise wares tips stepping ascetics starkness realize picture surroundings dictations grand pillars  deaf limited comparisons greet visual residents  personal settings dismiss alien law stability common earthly shiftless places prelude  understanding mosaic keen trifling embodiments  geared inception whisper visible jowls kiss murky  puddle rank dawn dichotomy single faithful fraying pays tailor veil climb mores pence whim  breath wellspring samara god stony pear  shadows fruiting forebodes moonlit looming  shown passed bog gold wracked faint tongues  noble preachers mirror shifting layered depth  threads jungle narcissus bemused seamstress self-worshiping architect's wore slumber anomalous  opened barren seam lip caustic scene coupled brick gardener's clenches -with forms idle breed  embodied lore starving empathy design illusion  tree coat fabricate lucid mason scatter-all  narrative seeking imbued 16th shivering chemicals 17th 15thrisk improperly dare  deliberate plan purge try brought chapter speed  aide utmost spirit leading intervention felt  recall recent advent sincerity times diary  lackluster piously lasting happy holding hear  stem tasteless whimpers wet spine monstrosity  dripping causes position quite softly claws pallet  answer digging tearing beast satiating circle breaks skips redwoods beckoning rotted hushed  gray lapsing monoliths deities creborus  imbuement hand stroll paradigm rendered chorus shy whispering forest residual tension  surrenders tolerance lull anew sentenced  bearing tide birds dirge divergent rim joined  cogs wood hesitant mist emergent towering offer  awareness confinement inverted faultier stowed  plane sanctified blanketing trusting memory fossil flash twists laden self-indulgent fleeting invitation agony grip shore impetus lingering  crows promise gift union swallowing endless floor supposed ecstasy sensory intent  psychotropic cradling placement interned  jagged connectivity exchange congenial begun  summons singular spiral assumes ambient reciprocates re-entry fruition reached aggregate lifetime limbs birthed instinct  frightening tarry proper entire light  boundaries innocence pursuit ago discover left  youth's unknowing sacred time place meager  simple fact cast ceaseless wide-eyed literal  apparent coincidence create boldness morphed  crooked kempt mere stumble buried shutter fairy  pivotal definitive months worth shear ambition sound required journeyed self-reflections title  facets vague restless intimation gut wanderer's  leap motivate path account boy soon bears faith  question tripped reasons uproot awaited confronted days step heal provocations wisps crushing transcend chronicles instance  directness raw drove occurrence objective-less  real enters slightest confident nondescript  typify  foreshortened interment paradox bitter heart  devoid jeopardy angry sensation confidential guilty arrogance mercy compliance reprieve  vincent deadening factual sign emotion awe  inhibition shackled butterflies absence actual sciences acknowledgement violent stagnant  spiritual American doors roots lack matted fore  gestures society cause streams intensity hair impossible discord lonely hearts resounding  jest  what's flavored pains closed toxic contented  happenstance scientific knowledge yeah  wizardry shaking stifled withdrawn bloom  jitter dreads settle asocial hulton make  predisposed figurative reflections demeanors  wondered affect hulton's projected sense  morning industry arrays ghosts feeling  certainly endomorphic where's partially wrath  passer mornings jovial unease advertized asking  trash onward wished tempers media mentality connect pasts sharp-toothed scramble great colours trial test salvation continually lent  degree secretly subjection social waned  disconnected colors grimly intellectual civilization cash trading baffling particular  digest myths monumental ending seasons winter  repetition introducing agent everlasting  shoulders delivered honestly-- possession funny  continence history unsightly function suffering propulsion profession divulge familiar tugs era  importance capability perpetuation spite inventory words entirety leveling fray insight  date record continues writer getting evermore fellow tongue possessions identical proof accuracy education similar sack admittance  favor unravel conveyance guilt gives beginnings  predicting audacity definition bobby heady eaters frameless learned release stone grandeur sang  speak molds sleeps split built seats people folded  sheer pour evoked playhouse liquid boring  tellers frayed stark walked reality pleas doth  preformed shows beak pride squawks opinions  greatest bold stunning sightings he'd loudly slain  sunk watch legend precipice theater deeper compound commentator civility justly silly sin  reverent seen prophetic moral confounds notion  lacking explain attempt prolific viral estrange proclivity scorn hide blur pious strung eden's  horror cut skin arch cruel twig mother vile  pass lend woods peach shrunken trail man's canopy worn 434 eat warm limb familiar father delete.

You are what your reading lady. Now would you hold this gun?
Cuando llegue la luna llena
iré a Santiago de Cuba,
iré a Santiago,
en un coche de agua negra.
Iré a Santiago.
Cantarán los techos de palmera.
Iré a Santiago.
Cuando la palma quiere ser cigüefla,
iré a Santiago.
Y cuando quiere ser medusa el plátano,
iré a Santiago.
Iré a Santiago
con la rubia cabeza de Fonseca.
Iré a Santiago.
Y con la rosa de Romeo y Julieta
iré a Santiago.
¡Oh Cuba! ¡Oh ritmo de semillas secas!
Iré a Santiago.
¡Oh cintura caliente y gota de madera!
Iré a Santiago.
¡Arpa de troncos vivos, caimán, flor de tabaco!
Iré a Santiago.
Siempre he dicho que yo iría a Santiago
en un coche de agua negra.
Iré a Santiago.
Brisa y alcohol en las ruedas,
iré a Santiago.
Mi coral en la tiniebla,
iré a Santiago.
El mar ahogado en la arena,
iré a Santiago,
calor blanco, fruta muerta,
iré a Santiago.
¡Oh bovino frescor de calaveras!
¡Oh Cuba! ¡Oh curva de suspiro y barro!
Iré a Santiago.
Rangzeb Hussain May 2010
Lights dim,
Colour explodes,
For upon the stage there is magic
and in the orchestra pit there is music,
Young dancers robed in elegance
glide across the richly decorated stage,
And the night smiles by
with selection after selection
of sublime ballet confection,
The dancers dazzle and daze,
Their bodies hugging the music's enchanting embrace,
Upon their faces are the smiles of summer and golden radiance,
On their bare backs ripple muscles glowing with the sheen of sweat and glory,
Their breath comes in quick bursts as they fly through the air
and land as gently as a feather on the breath of a nightingale,
The girls are as bright as dawn's first light
and the men so supple and full of ecstatic zest,
These gifted artists were not from the snow-capped streets
of St. Petersburg
or from the steppes of the Bolshoi
nor were they from the giddy heights of the opera at Notre Dame de Paris
nor were they plucked from Covent Garden's glorious school of Royal Ballet,
No, it was none of those rigid and regimented corps de ballet,
For the vibrant and energetic dancers that mesmerised the audience
were living the pure joy of life,
These young men and women were from the poor villages and back streets of Cuba,
They brought the sun's warmth and delight,
They brought the lightning's energy and spark,
They brought the air of vitality and light,
They brought the moon's bewitching sophistication and surprise,
They brought the colour of life to their art,
This was a night of remembrance for the human soul,
What wondrous poetry in motion we can sprinkle and sparkle
if only we let our prejudices seep away,
Come, let go of the rat race sweat and pain,
Just ease back and let your mind be transported
to another time, another place, another type of magic,
Go enjoy a night at the ballet
and see human expression expressed through movement,
Witness tales of myth and wonder without a single word spoken,
One flick of the wrist
or the pointing of a finger
or even a tilted head
can say more and mean more than a hundred thousand spoken words,
Hearts full of love's deep lyrics told their tragic stories
through a mere touch or a caress,
Hearts were lacerated with a single swipe of a glance,
When two lover's shyly held hands and smiled
there was a thundering hush in the Hippodrome,
The lights changed from a cold blue to a pulsating red
and the orchestra showered the stage with glittering notes,
Drama, Music, Dance...

This

was

Theatre.




©Rangzeb Hussain
Ari  Feb 2010
In Philadelphia
Ari Feb 2010
there are so many places to hide,

in my home at 17th and South screaming death threats at my roommates laughing diabolically playing  videogames and Jeopardy cooking quinoa stretching canvas the dog going mad frothing lunging  spastic to get the monkeys or the wookies or whatever random commandments we issue forth  drunken while Schlock rampages the backdrop,

at my uncle's row house on 22nd and Wallace with my shoes off freezing skipping class to watch March  Madness unwrapping waxpaper hoagies grimacing with each sip of Cherrywine or creamsicle  soda reading chapters at my leisure,

in the stacks among fiberglass and eternal florescent lima-tiled and echo-prone red-eyed and white-faced  caked with asbestos and headphones exhuming ossified pages from layers of cosmic dust  presiding benevolent,

in University City disguised in nothing but a name infiltrating Penn club soccer getting caught after  scoring yet still invited to the pure ***** joy of hell and heaven house parties of ice luge jungle  juice kegstand coke politic networking,

at Drexel's nightlit astroturf with the Jamaicans rolling blunts on the sidelines playing soccer floating in  slo-mo through billows of purple till the early morning or basketball at Penn against goggle- eyed professors in kneepads and copious sweat,

in the shadow tunnels behind Franklin Field always late night loner overlooking rust belt rails abandoned  to an absent tempo till tomorrow never looking behind me in the fear that someone is there,

at Phillies Stadium on glorious summer Tuesdays for dollar dog night laden with algebra geometry and  physics purposely forgetting to apply ballistics to the majestic arc of a home run or in the frozen  subway steam selling F.U. T.O. t-shirts to Eagles fans gnashing when the Cowboys come to town,

at 17th and Sansom in the morning bounding from Little Pete's scrambled eggs toast and black coffee  studying in the Spring thinking All is Full of Love in my ears leaving fog pollen footprints on the  smoking cement blooming,

at the Shambhala Center with dharma lotus dripping from heels soaking rosewater insides thrumming to the  groan of meditation,

at the Art Museum Greco-fleshed and ponderous counting tourists running the Rocky steps staring into shoji screen tatame teahouses,

at the Lebanese place plunked boldly in Reading Terminal Market buying hummus bumping past the Polish  and Irish on my way to the Amish with their wheelwagons packed with pretzels and honey and  chocolate and tea,

at the motheaten thrift store on North Broad buried under sad accumulations of ramshackle clothing  clowning ridiculous in the dim squinting at coathangers through magnifying glasses and mudflat  leather hoping to salvage something insane,

in the brown catacombed warrens of gutted Subterranea trying unsuccessfully to ignore bearded medicine

men adorned with shaman shell necklaces hawking incense bootlegs and broken Zippos halting conversation to listen pensive to the displacement of air after each train hurtles by,

at 30th Street Station cathedral sitting dwarfed by columns Herculean in their ascent and golden light  thunderclap whirligig wings on high circling the luminous waiting sprawled nascent on stringwood pews,

at the Masonic Temple next to City Hall, pretending to be a tourist all the while hoping scouring for clues in the cryptic grand architect apocrypha to expose global conspiracies,

at the Trocadero Electric Factory TLA Khyber Unitarian Church dungeon breaking my neck to basso  perfecto glitch kick drums with a giant's foot stampeding breakbeat holographic mind-boggled  hole-in-the-skull intonations,

at the Medusa Lounge Tritone Bob and Barbara's Silk City et cetera with a pitcher a pounder of Pabst and a  shot of Jim Beam glowing in the dark at the foosball table disco ball bopstepping to hip hop and  jazz and accordions and piano and vinyl,

in gray Fishtown at Gino's recording rap holding pizza debates on the ethics of sampling anything by  David Axelrod rattling tambourines and smiles at the Russian shopgirl downstairs still chained to  soul record crackles of antiquity spiraling from windows above,

at Sam Doom's on 12th and Spring Garden crafting friendship in greenhouse egg crate foam closets  breaking to scrutinize cinema and celebrate Thanksgiving blessed by holy chef Kronick,

in the company of Emily all over or in Kohn's Antiques salvaging for consanguinity and quirky heirlooms  discussing mortality and cancer and celestial funk chord blues as a cosmological constant and  communism and Cuba over mango brown rice plantains baking oatmeal chocolate chip cookies,

in a Coca Cola truck riding shotgun hot as hell hungover below the raging Kensington El at 6 AM nodding soft to the teamsters' curses the snagglesouled destitute crawling forth poisoned from sheet-metal shanty cardboard box projects this is not desolate,

at the impound lot yet again accusing tow trucks of false pretext paying up sheepish swearing I'll have my  revenge,

in the afterhour streets practicing trashcan kung fu and cinder block shotput shouting sauvage operatic at  tattooed bike messenger tribesmen pitstopped at the food trucks,

in the embrace of those I don't love the names sometimes rush at me drowned and I pray to myself for  asylum,

in the ciphers I host always at least 8 emcee lyric clerics summoning elemental until every pore ruptures  and their eyes erupt furious forever the profound voice of dreadlocked Will still haunting stray  bullet shuffles six years later,

in the caldera of Center City with everyone craning our skulls skyward past the stepped skyscrapers  beaming ear-to-ear welcoming acid sun rain melting maddeningly to reconstitute as concrete  rubber steel glass glowing nymphs,

in Philadelphia where every angle is accounted for and every megawatt careers into every throbbing wall where  Art is a mirror universe for every event ever volleyed through the neurons of History,

in Philadelphia of so many places to hide I am altogether as a funnel cloud frenetic roiling imbuing every corner sanctum sanctorum with jackhammer electromagnetism quivering current realizing stupefied I have failed so utterly wonderful human for in seeking to hide I have found

in Philadelphia
My best Ginsberg impression.
Stick with me, friend.
I’d like to make a distinction:
I revere writers but do not deify them.
My heroes and role models must be grounded,
Must have so-called feet of clay.
And there’s always something more in my craw,
Whenever I see scribblers carved in marble,
Glorified to the point of divinity and magic.
Because in my heart of hearts,
Reverence for writers,
Is an odyssey of disillusionment and

I fancy myself a man of letters,
Although “Humanoid of Keystrokes,”
Might be more apt; an appellation,
Digitally au courant.
I am a man on verbal fire,
Perhaps, I am of a Lost Generation myself.
And don’t you dare tell me to sit down, to calm down.
You stand up when you tell a story.
Even Hemingway--even when he was sitting down--knew that.
Let us go then you and I.
Moving our moveable feast to Paris,
To France, European Union, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy.
(Stick with me, Babaloo!)
Why not join Papa at a tiny table at Les Deux Magots,
Savoring the portugaises,
Working off the buzz of a good Pouilly-Fuisse
At 10:30 in the morning.
The writing: going fast and well.

Why not join that pompous windbag ******* artist?
As he tries to convince Ava Gardner,
That writers tienen cajones grandes, tambien—
Have big ***** too—just like Bullfighters,
Living their lives all the way up.
That writing requires a torero’s finesse and fearlessness.
That to be a writer is to be a real man.
A GOD MAN!
Papa is self-important at being Ernest,
(**** me: some lines cannot be resisted.)
Ava’s **** is on fire.
She can just make him out,
Can just picture him through her libidinous haze,
Leaping the corrida wall,
Setting her up for photos ops with Luis Miguel Dominguín,
And Antonio Ordóñez, his brother-in-law rival,
During that most dangerous summer of 1959.
Or, her chance to set up a *******,
With Manolete and El Cordobés,
While a really *******,
Completely defeated & destroyed 2,000-pound bull,
Bleeds out on the arena sand.

Although I revere writers,
I refuse to deify them.
A famous writer must be brought down to earth--
Forcibly if necessary--
Chained to a rock in the Caucasus,
Their liver noshed on by an eagle.
In short: the abject humiliation of mortality.
Punished, ridiculed and laughed at.
Laughing himself silly,
******* on one’s self-indulgent, egocentric universe.
If not, what hope do any of us have?

Writing for Ernie may have been a divine gift,
His daily spiritual communion and routine,
A mere sacramental taking of dictation from God,
But for most of us writing is just ******* self-torture.
The Hemingway Hero:
Whatever happened to him on the Italian-Austrian front in 1918
May have been painful but was hardly heroic.
The ******* was an ambulance driver for Christ’s sake.
Distributing chocolate and cigarettes to Italian soldiers,
In the trenches behind the front lines,
A far cry from actual combat.
Besides, he was only on the job for two weeks,
Before he ****** up somehow,
Driving his meat-wagon over a live artillery shell.
That BB-sized shrapnel in his legs,
Turned out to be his million-dollar wound,
A gift that kept on giving,
Putting him in line for a fortunate series of biographic details, to wit:
Time at an Italian convalescent hospital in Milano,
Staffed by ***** English nurses,
Who liked to give the teenage soldiers slurpy BJs,
Delirious ******* in the middle of the night,
Sent to Paris as a Toronto Star reporter,
******* up to that big **** Gertrude Stein,
Sweet-talking Sylvia Beach,
At Shakespeare & Company bookstore,
Hitting her up for small loans,
Manipulating and conning Scott Fitzgerald—
The Hark the Herald Jazz Age Angel—
Exploiting F. Scott’s contacts at Scribners,
To get The Sun Also Rises published.
Fitzgerald acted as his literary agent and advocate,
Even performing some crucial editing on the manuscript.
Hemingway got payback for this friendship years later,
By telling the world in A Moveable Feast,
That Zelda convinced Scott he had a small ****--
Yeah, all of it stems from those bumps & bruises,
Scrapes & scratches he got near Schio,
Along the Piave River on July 8, 1918.
Slap on an Italian Silver Medal of Valor—
An ostentatious decoration of dubious Napoleonic lineage—
40,000 of which were liberally dispensed during WWI—
And Ernie was on his way.

Was there ever a more arrogant, world-class scumbag;
A more graceless-under-pressure,
Sorry excuse of a machismo show-horse?
Look: I think Hemingway was a great writer,
But he was a gigantic gasbag,
A self-indulgent *****,
And a mean-spirited bully—
That bogus facade he put on as this writer/slash/bullfighter,
Kilimanjaro, great white hunter,
Big game Bwana,
Sport fishing, hard drinking,
Swinging-****, womanizing,
*** I-******-Ava-Gardner bragging rights—all of it—
Just made him a bigger, poorer excuse for a human being,
When the chips were finally down,
When the truth finally caught up with him,
In the early morning hours,
Of July 2, 1961, in Ketchum, Idaho.
I can’t think of a more pathetic writer’s life than
Hemingway’s last few years.
Sixty electric shock treatments,
And the ******* still killed himself.

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So why am I still mesmerized by,
The whole Hemingway hero thing?
That stoicism, the grace under pressure,
That real men don’t eat quiche,
A la Norman Mailer crap?
I guess I can relate to both Hemingway the Matador,
And Hemingway the Pompous *******,
Not to mention Mailer who stabbed his second of six wives,
And threw his fourth out of a third-floor window.
One thing’s for sure: I’m living life all the way up,
Thanks to a steady supply of medical cannabis,
And some freaky chocolate chip cookies
From the Area 51--Our Products are Out of this World—Bakery
(“In compliance with CA prop 215 SE 420, Section 11362.5,
And 11362.7 of CA H.S.C. Do not drive,
Or operate heavy equipment,
While under the influence.
Keep out of reach of children,
And comedian Aziz Ansari.”)

So getting back to Hemingway,
I return to Cuba to work on my book.
During the day--usually in the early morning hours--
When “the characters drive me up there,”
I climb to my tower room,
Stand up at my typewriter in the upstairs alcove.
I stand up to tell my story because last night,
Everyone got drunk and threw all the ******* furniture in the pool.
By the way, I’m putting together my Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
I can’t decide between:
“I may be defeated but I’ll never be destroyed,” or
“You can destroy me but you’ll never defeat me.”
The kind of artistic doublespeak they love in Sweden.
Maybe: “Night falls and day breaks, but no one gets hurt.”
God help me.
I need to come up with a bunch of real pithy crap soon.
Maybe I’ll just smoke a joint before the speech and,
Start riffing off the cuff about literary good taste:

“In my novel, For Whom the Bell Tolls, for example, I had Maria tell Pilar that the earth moved, but left out the parts about Robert Jordan’s ******* and the tube of Astroglide.”

Stockholm’s only a month away,
So I’m under a lot of pressure.
Where’s Princess Grace under Pressure when I need her?
I used to work for the Kansas City Star,
Working with newspaper people who advocated:
Short sentences.
Short paragraphs.
Active verbs.
Authenticity.
Compression.
Clarity.
Immediacy.
Those were the only rules I ever learned,
For the business of writing,
But my prose tended to be a bit clipped, to wit:
A simple series,
Of simple declarative sentences,
For simpletons.
I’m told my stuff is real popular with Special-Ed kids,
And those ******* that run
The International Imitation Hemingway Competition,
AKA: The Bad Hemingway Contest.
The truth is: I always wanted to get a bit more flowery,
Especially after I found out I got paid by the word.
That’s when the *** and **** proved mighty useful.
        
I live at La Finca Vigia:
My house in San Francisco de Paula,
A Havana suburb.
My other place is in town,
Room #511 at the Hotel Ambos Mundos,
Where on a regular basis I _
(Insert simple declarative Anglo-Saxon expletive)
My guantanmera on a regular basis.
But La Finca’s the real party pad.
Fidel and Che and the rest of the Granma (aka “The Minnow”) crew
Come down from the mountains,
To use my shower and refresh themselves,
On an irregular basis.
At night we drink mojitos, daiquiris or,
The *** & coke some people call Cuba Libre.
We drink the *** and plan strategy,
Make plans for taking out Fulgencio Batista,
And his Mafia cronies,
Using the small arms and hand grenades,
We got from Allen Dulles.

Of course, after the Bay of Pigs debacle,
You had to go, Ernesto.
Kennedy had the CIA stage your suicide,
And that was all she wrote.
And all you wrote.
Never having had a chance,
To tell the 1960s Baby Boomers about class warfare in America.
Poor pathetic Papa Hemingway.
Lenin and Stalin may have ruined Marxism,
But Marx was no dummy.
Not in your book.
Or mine.
r  Dec 2014
Viva Cuba
r Dec 2014
i saw the movie, once
- a sad one

this time i am hoping
things will be different -

good, friends
should be allowed
to be friends -

Viva Cuba.

r ~ 12/18/14
Viva Cuba!
Emanuel Martinez Mar 2013
If (WO)men are the ones that suffer an exacerbated amount
Of the violence, the ****, the abuse, and everything that comes
with and from struggle and alienation;
it is because of their femininity that men at times
have come to believe that their contributions soften institutions.
That at times throughout history neither capitalism, neoliberalism nor revolutionary experiments like that of Cuba have placed femininity as compatible
with progress or resolution.
In which case femininity must be hidden, silenced, or displaced with no purpose or place to belong.

Thus everyone closely associated with this femininity such as homosexuals, transgendered (WO)men, and "effeminate" males, (ignoring, subverting and negating the lesbian identity because of their gender) have come to be marginalized by a structural system of exclusion.

(WO)men carrying the highest burden for originating the associative distinction

Homosexuals battling to find love by constantly having to assert their masculinity

Transgendered (Wo)men afraid of expressing their through identity.

Lesbians fighting to legitimize their own identity separate from the directives ascribed onto them by virtue of being born women.

Males who are labeled effeminate because of their sympathy toward those who struggle and are alienated.

And every other individual who refuses to deliver to give a marker to their identity and a degree to their femininity.

Hold fast in your femininity and embrace the rancor that society grants you
As a homosexual I speak with you brother and sister, not for you

Realize that our self-ascribed degrees of femininity and identity are as revolutionary and transformative, and thus necessary, as those of Che Guevara, Mohammed Ali, Harriet Tubman, or the Dali Lama.

That because we have decided to embrace our degrees of femininity, problematic to any movement, at one point or another, we have inadvertently decided to align our selves with those who are alienated the most by the systems in which they live.

So that in this way we must make our struggles deliberate and political. Let our degrees of femininity become legitimizing banners of solidarity for anyone who suffers in any corner of the world.
March 10, 2013

— The End —