EERIE ALLEY TEA

The spectral image of a black pitbull presaged my death. I bequeathed my eels to an ensouled statue & was assumed into the greenhouse: a geodesic dome like a snowshake paperweight. How many other horrible workers are woolgathering at this moment–or dreaming, sheepdoggedly pursuing the poem even in sleep, invoking the strippers who’re shagging doggy-style in the poll booths. A goon at the peephole gimlet-eyeing my foray into hitherto unexplored parts of Pussytown. Being in the netherworld afforded me a bird’s-eye view of the skyscrapers shocked in Mo-mo. Cocaine Lil cockledoodledoo’d, swathed in sky-blue cerements, luminous with a profound truth I couldn’t grasp, ravishing, inviolable. Her yetis-in-waiting pirouetted in diaphonous gowns. Our black scottie had a penchant for snouting up fallen orts, so we named him Hoover. Caught in the vortex in the rearview mirror Hoover spiraled down into nothingness. Birds of blowtorch-blue plumage rode the whorlwind; an updraft buoyed Hoover to the treehouse where I was reading an old notebook. In that phantasmagoria soundtracked by Twisted Sister a brain became a clusterfuck of bumblebees; sandpaper became a beach, sandwich paper a witchgrassy beach on which a lighthouse-keeper played Frisbee with his greyhound, flinging a temple gong.

Wearing a black eyepatch with a skull & crossbones on it, Hoover hijacked a grackle & flew it to Elysium: the town dump, a reliquary whose amplitude rivaled that of the surf’s flotsam collection. Detritus engulfed a Cynic living in a squalid hovel–no, not even a hovel, a mere hovella. Hoover scrunched up to fit in a many-stained-glass-windowed snail shell. A cloud cathedral hove in sight & hovered over the firewalker at the carnival, the neo-flaneur with the neon buzz, moire-suited but feral as a Greenlandic walrus. What if I walked the dog in public, like a Cynic–like a big-cocked Robert Crumb geek beguiled by the sumptuous ass of a passerby. Prowling in a seedy coat I ended up joining some woebegone hobos in singing, “So come with me, we’ll all go see the Big Rock Candy Mountains.” There Hoover wears a hipster beret, writes protoplasmic poems in a spiral notebook. He rummages in a stygian second-hand bookshop. The proprietor, an old woman, chainsmokes; gossamer shores up the toppling stacks of paperbacks as though you’re seeing them in ultraviolet light. Books shine as though simonized, ready to convey me through space & time like a mastiff with a martyred monk in his maw. Hang on St. Christopher, dog-headed patron of travelers: all sentient beings are crammed into a prairie schooner lumbering, though hub-deep in marl, toward a cynosure: a phosphorescent glowworm.

A snowballing beeswarm rolled down the breakdown lane of your thigh, & a fairy-tale hunchback sicced bloodhounds on the long-haired smack junkie who was reading a moth-eaten book, dirty needles strewn around him like the floor of a pine forest. Sap coursed in a space needle. After heavy rain a flash flood drowned everyone except the giraffe-necked greyhound. With his head in the ether he gobbled up poems, chimeras from the Mixmaster of the mind. & if my thought-dreams could be seen, they’d prob’ly put my head in a gillotine; but since a boomerang has craftily replaced my mustache, my head would fly back to my neck in time to drink coffee brewed from ground fog & gobble excelsior by the fistful. Slug-slow zombies drifted down the detour to a backwater in some oneiric Oklahoma. Irreality: me & Hoover zigzaged down the fire-escape to fathom the depth of the eerie alley tea. Hoover harpooned the kettle when it spouted steam. I’d rather have a pearl-diving dog, or a dog you can dissolve in coffee like a lump of sugar. A black seagull carved from onyx jimmied the door to the lightroom. I feel darkness augmenting inside me, an influx of rooks: either bring tb out of mothballs or I’ll drive off a cliff, singing “Pineola”.

Wearing a deathmask with a Kool-Aid smile you lapsed into a morose silence. Hoover scrabbled at that silence & hit a lode of infrasound. Just a hurricane’s hurl away the howling of coyotes was punctuated by the tubercular hack of the horn of scarcity. The sea cave was disemboweled of its raving. I was mad in those days: trigger-happy I shot seagulls off pilings, shat several subway slugs that severally flowered into mouthless mouths. Smokerings howled, zeros flared like nostrils. Kissing your asshole I became a portal-jumper. A sail-pale visage unfurled, hovered UFOlike above the deadfall. A numinous voice laid this riff on me: “Someday your tobacco-blackened lungs will join a murder of crows.” With rusty pliers Hoover prised my Steppenwolf out of me, my Shadow. Lovelorn in the hermitage I walked the dog, cossetted by pictures conjured from wet dreams: Renée Falconetti in a bondage suit of ectoplasm, her sleek raven hair a black mass. A gumshoe got blackjacked; a geek freaked with jet slipped you a brainrape drug. An oil-slick maligned the river. To embrace the black dog on my back I took a long draught of coffee from the eyesocket of a skull; I assimilated to the rain-darkened street. A lightning bolt is just the incandescent string of a black kite vast enough to cover the sky.

The malaise pervading society transfused even the dogs. The molten lava flooding the labyrinthine corridors congealed in blobs. The jewels sequestered, inviolable, their luster augmented by caressing. Sirius dervished in the firmament, chasing his tail–did The Dog to a jam in Pandora’s jukebox, one that conjured the iridescence of mother-of-pearl. The sizeless aggie mooned over the Cynic toasting his hands over the trash-barrel fire with the other hobos. You’re affected by the wretchedness of the lucklorn. How do you stave off the desolation of those who’re sundered from all human contact? I peddled a bicycle in outer space, got sideswiped by an astronaut floating past, trailing a severed tether, stiff limbs akimbo. The windsmacked wayfarer wafted into a rathskeller buzzing like a hornet’s nest with hangdogs & cynics, with boozehounds higher than deep-sea fish in the ether–soul-sick & forsaken all. Mothwinged, wearing the deathmask of Jo-Jo The Dog-Faced Boy, I flew in the ether, was sideswiped by a nightfreight truck. The canine wraith growled a presentiment of a flatlining EKG, the Litany seeping from the stove suffusing the frowzy tenement. You were dead, billiard-chalk-blue, limned with spectral moonwhite; the grave swallowed you the way a python swallows a dog, the way a dog gorges himself on deadbolt sausages. Working the graveyard shift at the hoarfrost factory I longed to go back to the bayou, pined for cypress laden with Spanish moss. Hoover lolled in lulls in the conversation, a whale up on blocks for dissection. No safariing into a cordoned-off Zululand evoking the mysteries of the street-lit attic, bats translucent as jellyfish hanging upside-down. Since I’m a nightowl my dreambook paddocks primordial daymares–for example, the razing of skyscrapers. The man in the wreckingball granted the rabid dog a stay of execution. By garbage-truck-orange moonlight I composed a letter in which I let monkey mind yack–or sat zazen, transfixed, wing’d stigmata alighting on me, a disembodied demon clamoring to possess me. I caromed off the door to the inner sanctum, back into my otherness. You caterpillared into a burlap sack capacious enough to drown a sumo kitten in; later you fluttered out butterfly-wing’d, too resplendent for me to embrace, to caress. I basked in your effulgence, rapt with wonderment.