March 15, 2005

Anatomy of a Fever

A sudden shock stabs
the base of my spine,
and arches me up,
pushes me back,
travels up,
enters my neurons,
crackles outwards.
I am ablaze.

As a corpse
is reanimated
by a billion bolts,
I am
brought to life.

Keenly, I feel
my own edges.

I become aware
of my own skin.

I go from being
a clothed, civil creature
to a naked wanton,
wearing some clothes.



Fall 2003.

Nella fantasia

Ah, you
are so unaware
of you
and me.

One day,
I will whisper to you
all the secrets
that I whisper
to my pen
and you
will be astounded
and touched.

Ah, you
have no idea
that I
have memorized
your lines.

One day,
I will run my lips
across them,
just the way I do
behind my eyelids,
and you
will sigh
and feel bliss.

Ah, you
are so beautiful
because you
aren't.

One day,
I will tell you so,
and you will laugh,
and laugh.



Fall 2003.

March 12, 2005

Werewoman

Between a restless toss
and a sleepless turn,
between a wet dream whimper
and a nightmare moan,

she breathes
she breathes

Between the endless cups of coffee
and the useless mugs of milk,
between my silky, wrinkled bedsheets
and my damp and tingling skin,

she stirs,
she stirs.

Between my late night written lines,
and all my softly spoken lies,
between the heavy pre-dawn silence,
and the muffled midnight cries,

she wakes,
and I
can hear
her

howling,
howling
for release,
for remembrance,
for rebirth.

She sends me
into the streets,
prowling,
searching,
hunting

for release,
for remembrance,
for rebirth,
for her,
for myself.

But,

between the cries of the wolves
and the shrieks of city traffic,
between the fires of the cavewomen
and the red lights of the prostitutes,

far too many lifetimes
have passed. And so,

she weeps,
she weeps,

and lets me
sleep awhile,

between synthetically scented sheets
and chemically crafted sweets,
between pre-programmed, painless choices
and digitally dulcet voices,

between all our civilization
and all our discontent,

until the next full moon.


Spring 2005.

Death by Beauty

In memoriam, Olivia Goldsmith.

Olivia -
Justine -
you weren't broken
by abandonment,
by loneliness,
by poverty
or pain,
but, paradoxically, by
anaesthetic.

Olivia -
Justine -
what were you thinking
the first time
you renamed yourself
after the feminine ideal -
that stained receptacle
of agony -
that passive object
to be fucked
& cut
& beaten.

Olivia -
Justine -
did you betray yourself
or did this world,
which no amount of words
can change,
betray you?

You fought
the fascism of fashion
with potent weapons -
wisdom,
humor,
and a clear-eyed gaze.
You resisted! oh, but then

you succumbed.

Olivia -
Justine -
while you lay
seemingly senseless,
what went through
your fertile female
mind?

Did you lament
the stories
never to be written?

Did you wonder
what your heroines
might say of this?

Or did you finally
feel beautiful enough
to be silent?

I Think of You

When I think of you,
I think of an explorer,
mapping mountains & valleys with
your compass, ever pointing north,
taming jungles with
your sleek machete,
memorizing & memorializing caves with
your faithful pen light.

When I think of you,
I close my eyes, and smell
ink & lead & paper &
unscented candles in the dark,
illuminating
all that you rumpled
in the course of
writing your masterpiece.

When I think of you,
I find myself walking past
crowds of people with your face,
with your name,
but, most assuredly,
without your voice,
and though I stop for some of them,
I think of you.


Fall/Winter 2004.

March 9, 2005

Song of NYC

Give me the noise
and the madness
and the energy
and exuberance
of my home.

Give me buildings
that scrape the sky,
give me crowds
that choke the streets,
give me
nuts & bums &
purple-haired students
& wild-eyed painters
& street performers
& "de la Vega" on the sidewalks.

Give me the songs
of the subway musicians,
of the late night jazz joints,
of the raucous outdoor concerts,
of the noisy indoor plumbing,
of the screeching trains,
of the honking taxis,
of the church hymns,
of the protest chants.

Give me
the lower east
the upper west
the mid-
the down-,
the exec suites,
the artists' lofts,
the dives
and Bemelman's.

Give me
galleries,
graffiti,
sculptures,
architecture,
heaps of garbage,
and the Wall Street Bull
with his big, bronze balls.

Give me my
Great White Way,
my Little Italy,
my filthy subways,
my glittering storefronts,
my peep shows,
my museums,

my fiercely proud, my
fellow men, women,
freaks, assholes, thugs,
rude sons-of-bitches -

all these beloved
souls who share
my home,

for, verily,

I [heart] NY.



Fall 2003.

Love Letter to Nowhere

This is the love letter
that will never be read,
because there is a ten-hour drive
and a lifetime
between us.

This is the love letter
written in blue ink,
because I remember
the sounds of jazz
on certain summer nights,
and your eyes
on certain lazy mornings.

This is the love letter,
written with all the words
I dare not speak out loud,
and all the unintelligible cries
you wrest from my lips.

This is the love letter
I will never send;
it may as well be written
in Egyptian hieroglyphics,
and it has been far too long
since our first exile.

This is the love letter,
scribbled across discarded music paper,
across the truncated staves
of our time together -
but mostly improvised
in the end.



Spring 2005.