fr. The Great Recession
Chinese Water Torture
Chinese water torture: that’s how it
is today with these girls, these schools,
the IRS, everyone. He thinks this on
his bike, as he swerves through the
city streets. Last year he got hit: broke
his shoulder. He was still insured then.
Now, he’s forced to just risk it. Two
of the other messengers he “grew up”
with are now deceased. He scattered
one of their ashes into the Delaware
on Christmas night. Then, he had his turkey.
Scabs, sores, pus— that’s all she can think
about, as she walks around in circles. But
(of course) that’s just my perspective. I gave
her what I could (what she needs is money).
So two bodies are sitting in a crowded movie
theater, watching a foreign film about the
lives of terrorists. They’re both tuned out,
but have been told the film is excellent by
several reliable sources, who consider them
like dogs— loyal, anxious, fetching.
Fellating the Pickle
Everyone knows she has about two years
to live. The blonde babe who runs shipments
sits smoking at the Esquire Bar with a guy
who still has the rat-tails he had at Cheltenham.
How do you behave when you have two
years to live? Well, you might try making
your body a weapon. You might bop around
shaking your hips so that no one might
touch. Or fellating the pickle which comes
with your sandwich. You might. But as you
dance on nothingness, someone watching
you is also watching his watch.
fr. Apparition Poems
Of course, there had to be
a pretty nurse—this one was
pale blonde, thin, always in
jeans, fat iron cross affixed
to breast-heavy chest. I
couldn’t ignore eye-teeth
that made her look like a
vampire. In my pill-popped
dementia, I saw her kneel
beside my bed, swill blood
from my neck, nourish
herself on my sickness.
In swoons, a Christian
vampire seems no weirder
than enforced Twister,
watched Monopoly, or
she fit right in. That’s the bin.
Battle for deliverance,
struggle for salvation,
Christ’s passion condensed
into ten fluid seconds,
sections of flesh leaving,
sense of “Geist” overhead.
Yet you’ve shrunk before
Romance into “post-
everything entropy,” so
even the love of one’s
life becomes another show,
rigged like a government’s
actions, glommed onto
deadly ennui. Christ.