Talking dick says Come To Papa. Talking pussy doesn’t say anything, just giggles, plays coy. Talking dick says Look Here, Baby, I Dig Your Macaroni. Talking pussy wonders if talking dick is being facetious, says You Must Think My Name is Jane. Talking dick says Huh? Talking dick thinks talking pussy is plain weird but keeps up the pretense, hoping for more. Talking pussy takes a vitamin and a breather. Talking dick gnashes teeth, smokes a cigar, swigs grapefruit juice, counts the hours. Talking pussy goes snooooooze.
It’s a carousel and I’m still standing in the center licking chocolate from my fingers, memorizing a song made out of popped balloons and scary kisses. I’m Lucy on the ground with shamrocks. The waves are still crashing and I am the rock and the moon above it. I’m lucky with salt. I could be riding the roller coaster but instead I am the ghost fingers dancing across the keys singing love letters past curfew. Sometimes they let me out of my cage but my voice is still there where it likes to stay, home inside his shell.
The Fool is played. Texas ate The Lovers. I am The Empress, upside down. It all comes down to the goddamn pentacles. The cups are empty. There is no rainbow. I’m familiar with the swords. It’s all a trick. I lose the game before I play it. For what is Wallace Stevens known? In automotive terms, what does SUV stand for? Where did Tom and Katie tie the knot? What does the A in DNA stand for? I don’t stand for much. I’m sitting down at the wallflower table with all the other bad hair day losers. Our tits don’t match and we’ve got lipstick on our teeth. I’m familiar with pawn shops. This is the last map I will burn. I’ll sprinkle the ashes in my favorite library.
I don’t know what this ring is worth. He paid $200 for it in Albuquerque in 2005. I don’t know if the band is white gold or platinum. “It’s white gold. Fourteen karats. I can give you forty dollars for it.” I take the money. “Mommy? Do you know my name?” Your name is Anderson Cooper. Spider-Man keeps spinning webs. Peter Parker still loves Mary Jane. A nervous breakdown would be such a luxury. Tear everything down and hide. What does the sun want with my face? I punish myself. Lose my phone. Cut the ties. “Mommy, won’t you get tired of walking?” I was born to walk.
PlatinumWikipedia: Platinum is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Pt and an atomic number of 78. →
She specializes in impossibilities. She has a special knack for starry writhe, a penchant for radiant anguish. Love felt to the marrow…pining on the balcony, lighting a candle, drinking whiskey from the bottle, playing those songs…holiest of holies, the sanctuary of twang. Dying slow in bondage, bleeding roses across the desert. Footprints to Mars where the Ferris wheel turns ceaseless and fools in love never have to deal in explanations and shame. It’s her only real fantasy.
7 Epilogue: Communion
The beast & the burden lock-step waltz. Tiger lily &
screwworm, it all adds up to this: bloodstar & molecular
burning kiss. Conception. The grooved sockets slip into
each other, sinking into pain, a little deeper into earth’s
habit. Tongue in juice meat, uncertain conversion, cock
& heart entangled, ragweed in bloom. A single sigh of
glory, the two put an armlock on each other- matched
for strength, leg over leg. Double bind & slow dance on
ball-bearing feet. Arm in arm & slipknot. Birth, death,
back to back- silent mouth against the other’s ear. They
sing a duet: e pluribus unum. The spirit hinged to a
single tree. No deeper color stolen from midnight sky-
they’re in the same shape, as meat collects around a
bone, almost immortal, like a centaur’s future perfect
(from The Beast & Burden: Seven Improvisations)
(from Neon Vernacular, New and Selected Poems)
It isn’t just a b-side. I think you should stick around and raise some hell. I know it hurts. I know pain deep and wide. I’ve lived with three different men, given birth twice, given my firstborn, my daughter, to parents I chose for her in my fifth month of pregnancy, been told by my daughter’s adoptive father that when she was fourteen years old she said “there is a hole in my heart that will never be filled.” I’ve almost gone to prison for writing hot checks in four different states. I’ve danced topless, begged men with dead eyes for tips, been turned down, rejected. When I was fifteen years old I was a student at Lee Freshman in Midland, Texas. I sat in a bathroom stall during lunch because I was ashamed to eat lunch alone in the cafeteria. I went to the psyche ward the first time when I was seventeen years old. My parents found a poem I’d written about checking into a motel and killing myself. The doctor put me on Prozac. I started my senior year at Fredericksburg High School in Fredericksburg, Texas. I made the egregious error, the big fucking mistake, of calling up the quarterback of the football team (The Battlin’ Billies, they’re called) and asking him if he wanted to come over to my house and watch movies. He turned me down so I called his best friend and got shot down again. I was lacking social skills and common sense, see. I was insulted, harassed, called the usual names (“skank” was my favorite)…so I moved in with my grandparents.
I don’t have a magical elixir. I don’t have any answers, just a fuckload of questions. I’m 39 years old now. I’ve spent time on three different psyche wards. I’ve taken antidepressants, anti psychotic meds and anxiety meds. I’ve been divorced twice. “Situations have ended sad, relationships have all been bad, mine’ve been like Verlaine’s and Rimbaud” (Bob Dylan)…yes, that about sums it up. But I’ve survived. I’m here. I’m not going anywhere. I listen to music, I write my way through the shit, I take the tacos where I can find them and I believe in clown magic and chupacabra disco. I’m certainly a fool. But if I’d been successful and killed myself (there was never a serious attempt, just a series of “cries for help”)…I would not have:
1. seen the rainbow in Leon Valley with my son
2. bathed and sang beneath the stars in Ben Lomond
3. made $20 at the open mic in Albuquerque and bought beer and tacos for my boyfriend
4. met Todd Moore
5. hung out with Christopher Robin
6. gotten thrown out of a karaoke bar in Santa Cruz
7. lived like a queen for one week in San Francisco (thanks, Nicole)
8. recorded a cd of my poems at Studio de Stavros
9. fallen in love with his phone voice
10. fallen in love with his brain
11. gotten drunk on the altar at Stonehenge II in Hunt, Texas
12. rode beside him with the windows down, sharing a cigarette, “Tangled up in Blue” on the radio
13. gotten married on a mountain in Austin
14. honeymooned in Roswell
15. drank beer on Bleecker Street
16. sang “Wasted Days and Wasted Nights” on Beale Street
17. received letters from Tim Murray
18. gotten my grocery list tattooed to my left forearm on Sixth Street in Austin, Texas
Like an old friend once told me. You’ll be dead soon enough. What’s your fucking hurry?