“Why you–” she said, her nostrils flaring–cavernous
nostrils with which she hoovered transatlantic
cables of cocaine. Horse nostrils
that gained her passage through every checkpoint charlie.
Her wrists were razor-scarred, her arms
sleeved with peregrine tattoos. Her shock
of undersea weed hair luminesced
with a dream of cat-furred birds wheeling in the sky,
taking a malign interest in the diamondbacks
she secreted in an illimitable pocket.
When she says “I” she means not herself
but a supposed person–a gangster’s sleek moll, say,
a woman who freaks when she sees a spider, a woman
suffused with shock, with the gangrene of emotional
numbness. But when I say “I” I mean
me–just me & my shadow
racked by premonitions of death, out of
pocket, marooned on a traffic island, fracking
poetry from the shale of dreams in which, Big Brother
knows, I fail to conform to the prevailing mores.
My tribe’s totem is a crab; therefore, I can never
kill or eat a crab. I can’t even scratch
my bush when I get the crabs. I drag my face
across the window-glass; its luminosity
betokens a benevolent mind; it solemnly
intones a mantra over & over; I’m
transported with rapture at the infinite
regress, fractals mossed with frost. “Gorl,
jew mossed geeve me” the deadbolt swathing your neck;
stubbed cigarettes, cloudy coffee are profound
questions you no sooner propound than they
dissolve like communion quarters on the jukebox’s
tongue. At the crossroads dive I fly my freak flag,
limn my Blakean visions of a transcendent
reality, join Artaud in shitting on
the isms of our time. My interlocutors
snivel over maudlin melodies. I dree
my weird: it impels me to abdicate the toilet,
to run the gauntlet of carny barkers spieling
through megaphones, to catch out on a boxcar
numinous as a grotto. Like a pool ball
I scud to the pocket. All the dour moilers
take me for a bindlestiff, but the world is my
vast demesne; I reconnoiter it
with periscope eyes. I drink with winos, not to
placate my demons but to expand my inner
amplitude–though there is no inner or outer,
since everything is connected to everything else,
since the universe is One–is God.
God is not some celestial puppeteer.
I subsist on blimp-sized bees; they buzz in the sun,
sundered from the lovely shipwreck, the oscillating
blur I expunge the better to see
my coterie of hunchbacks dive en masse
into a cup of coffee–a dark theater
where a punk band is improvising a frenzied fantasia.
Scouring a junk shop for 45s
the vinyl freak found a mirror-written message:
“YOU’RE FUCKED.” & later that day
he died–was kite-surfing when a cat’s paw
batted him into a spinning wind-turbine.
A freak accident, apparently. After which
a menagerie of waxworks battened on him.
After which he was beatified, dream-transmuted
into the object of your ineffable longing:
a riding crop of blackstrap molasses.
A chthonic freak with a .45 blasts
windows out of an abandoned factory,
Glocks the peacock filigree, the coursing
creeks, the undulating scars, the snakes
slithering around the skulls of the long-departed.
He shoals with the other freaks, habitués
of a pissoir that’s really a Star Trek transporter:
it beams you to a city steeped in desuetude,
an abandoned, sketchy subway station. Is
the entropy I see everywhere just a projection
of my vexed interiority? Or is it really
time for us to face the mucus? Snot
for me to say. The steeple swayed, absorbing
rain like suede, the REMs of a
cyclopic eye. The Maltese foundered in
a black-&-white dream of being freaked with jet
like a zebra French bulldog. Gloom shot through
with exultation, pockets of bliss in misery.
We should consider every day lost on which
we haven’t frugged wearing a strap-on cock–
a marble cock hammered off a Greek statue,
burgled from the Vatican.