by David Brennan
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OFF. brim with blessing, be grim despair: neither fits
while Lady Liberty atop love hotel pops psychedelic shrooms. Somehow a band-aid of stars against the blend of death-street and halogen cloud. Pupils the size of shredded tires, Lady Liberty eyes the black taxi and green pay-phone colluding on the corner, exhaustive ring. The sidewalk a stray poodle sweeping cigarettes. Lady Liberty the juggernaut beauty drooling electronic saliva onto unpainted toenails, beneath which Go’s hand attempts to lubricate Off’s huge tongue of a prick,
Off with the morning freak of no condom and Go’s thick helmet of unvirgined ugly, great-big-battlefield of bed good and bloodied, Go with the gasp of bayonet between unshaven thighs, egg and toast knock-on-the-door give both gags.
GO. too much food turns eating tiresome
a meal fed a starved man pains him
strength is to reckon early
I don’t have the pre-seeing
the prophet’s ellipses
when the eye’s grope
Plastic-wrapped toothbrush slipped in purse. Credit card swiped on doorway console. Slim hallway spooked with early Saturday empty. Outside is older than ever. Go singing like oven-fresh bread a familiar melody, sweet destructive, most gentle bond binding tight, music. The fact of faces, their good bitters. Back and up Lady Liberty shakes a shadow, fires up her flame to b-b-q.
Sweet Jesus, not one straight street in this damn-it city.
Train terminal a tremendous maze and lots of hurry. Kiosks. Even outside one is inside. Even inside one is inside. Din of 10,000 genitalia conversing the sound of God’s ego. Restaurant row.
Plastic spaghetti window-display allows one miserable noodle lame gravitylessness, the pasta propping a fork by its tines, but where’s the hand? The curry rice looks real.
The two take an omlet-ya table, waitress on roller-blades, what’s the point the place is a closet, order octopus and cheese, slather their egg-boats in ketchup-blood and gorge. Maybe it’s the fake light. Go foots the bill.
GO. if left with a poor man’s wealth
I am happy?
Nietzsche blessed mild poverty
said: if you kiss goodnight your ownings
you are owned by your intimacy with amounts
I like that
but to my need it sounds milktoasty
my misfortune’s forever-sour grape
to seek when satisfied
Live through this, C. Love screamed. As if it’s difficult. We get past moments infinitely.
At dead-run ghost through turnstile, spook into panic human hurdles, with dog’s breath hiss past metal’s squeal-shut-at-heels
This over-big-body, this beef-and-dairy-bred-disaster, this elbow-dangerous-to-the-nose, this buttock-uncomfortably-close, this brackish-breathing-armpit not-a-crack-in-a-crack sardines-have-it-good train.
Swift underground shucked into outside light.
Ueno park, hanami hothouse, alcohol orgy beneath the cherries, hey a petal in your food is some good luck. Off pisses on an unused trunk.
OFF. tree that needs
only soil and water
as the poet needs only
water from a wooden bowl, what about
when other branches touch you?
do you get hot
and seek a sexed bark?
or keep on straight-up and make
like a howling brat
Head scratch bark he feels the arctic’s not-so-hot, give him a shoulder to spit up on, build him a box to be gross in, bend him a dent in the fender, hog-tie and slop him in the trough, light a cow-pie fire, clear cut a hundred km radius, remove him, nurse him. Skyline kicks like the Rockets. Stare at the koi in the pond.
Go’s acoustic head resents the hot leftovers of fast metal. Blubber-lipped she’s very pretty.
GO. you think me a fool
Pubescent arch. Trees perverse with body. Magnolia slick pubic darkness.
think also over here
I say you are the fool
then lose worry
our sweet is not an everyday sweet
the doorknob and pen you hold
I am their firm
your stammer and scrub
of dinner’s stubborn
pot and pan, that’s me
the body that escaped you at birth
I will give you to wear
long nipples and hairless skin
and I will wear you
a silver piercing through my pelvis
On a bench eating old-style steamed dough-dumplings stuffed with spiced pork, no talk. They like this large and simple way of it.
Along lip’s upper-ridge no whisker near eruption, but Off’s grown mustaches. Here the bitter green tea cuts the sweet red bean. An exact distance of thighs.
OFF. ants care deeply for picnic crumbs
if I leave this crumbling
will I starve, will my sad
be a chain lacking links
enough to stretch the length of my absence?
I fear the blind
and the doubt of itself
not silence not sound
not answer but decision
what is sought evades
GO. the future has descended
beating the life out me
into this moment
which will give it birth
a placental nourishment
lucky like the heart
do I look good?
is my skirt hiked just right?
am I a lonely girl tomorrow?
sick of time
with diligent rhythmic instruments
Down a swerving pedestrian sidestreet, girls everywhere hawking wares, costumed in casual Halloween wear, hawk-eyes and –beaks cawing “drugs” while overhead invisible sun-hour vampire neon in all directions never-ending. Yo check out that girl her hand disappeared into that dude’s pants. Everyone in the world is here. Past face to sky eyes lift, trip on sparrow slashes, cannon explosions of bird. Go could translate a dog’s bark no problem, her body light like a wallet’s empty, a light that gets heavy quick.
Lonely mystery puddle of not-water to be hopped, towel-up the inward drooling habit, teenagers huddle in post horror-flick glee, the soul remains a child. Off hates it, that beauty won’t look at him, the chump. Right on schedule arrives a stale deserted storefront decorated for Christmas, the jolly one himself present, anticipant.
OFF. excuse me, sir.
OFF. I have a question
SANTA. don’t bother.
OFF. if you don’t mind I’d really like to ask you some things—
SANTA. shut up! listen—
how are you here? I made you twice
what you are
still you’re clueless to your first self
its drafts and empty offices you’ve yet to chink and populate
you must know your body
and its time
before expansion and leaving can happen.
a gravestone in spring—it is there every spring.
think on your body—it won’t be so lucky.
here you are, already displaying
disinterest in skin and mind, as if a student
made to listen to a lecture of soft winds.
this is your only beginning. boredom
is eternity—turn your back on the eternal.
sleep is the arm that pulls the future
the hand grasping change
born in darkness and reared in dream.
if you are constant-eyed time is single state of mind. nothing
shifts. the body’s bread stales, goes rigid. instead
of staying a supple branch
living rots into the tree’s dead limb
will hold no weight, snap in the wind.
sleep’s your richest currency, capiche?
OFF. are you sure?
SANTA. go away.
So the strange blend of death and prematurity. Incomplete thought. Mid-afternoon, checked-in to a new hotel’s cowboy-themed room, she gives him a nipple. Two men in silver jump-suits and helmets are shot from cannon into piles of Styrofoam. After, they look so television happy. Fireflicker, screen supplication. Off invokes Yasunari.
GO. you that pain makes plausible
let now end
push me into the hour of my longing
the morning hour of the widow at peace
able, without malcontent
to lay an ear on the pillow that misses husband’s head
but you are not the genie I wished for
OFF. if the dew of woman would but come
from between the long nails and fingertips!
They do the tongue-twist, ribbon-twist in her hair, fascinated kids who love the bloody tickle when scab is scratched open, dandelion bitter, percuntaneous. Slapstick routine. Laugh like crazy. Bill Cosby sucks the pudding-pop black.
Go: a fork in the hand.
contagious-blue clouded by ruminant thunder, morning oranges, dawn foul-mouthed, sun light helium, sudden scarring rivulet perchancing soil, overrun brittle bent right, children puddle-deep dogs, huge-tongued bicycles, pale forearm of silver trowel, fork into garden yakitori, grin sweet smoky haze cars open-hung with arms, young mother zigzagging the demon
GO. more food
then less body
Off: across roof Moon scuffs slippered feet. The wench.
OFF. certain parts
Quiet eyelid. Oh hell the train
Salarymen, students, mothers and tight-lipped fathers, prostitutes (in your innocence) and decrepit catalogue models, hear this! All of you are my lovers. And being mine must be hers. His. Be it addition or subtraction of the other body that you seek, be it with cow’s enormous eyeball or mole’s dead optic that you chose to see, we’re waiting for you. It’s your turn. Above buzzard’s hover you gather, a raincloud clouding our deep recess. We’ve done what can be done to wet the earth with our bodies’ meager spill; overhead the turn of descending wings . . . cloud, drown us! That you can so easily erase us punctuates our realness. You refrain. You’re afraid. Tell: where is the needle and thread you used to stitch close your sex? Where is the knife bloodstained with the death of your heart? Give them to me, before we become the scavengers hunting us, and eat each other’s finger and nail, ear and pupil, while throughout our one-eyed and earnest feast the moon weeps white tears across her empty mattress
GO / OFF. young valentine first to inspect my circumcision