addendum abstractions in bookings (part I)

29 Dec

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addendum abstractions in bookings (part I)

 

“Why must one always quote St. Augustine to me?”

– John Shade

 

I’m not losing my mind

my mind is losing itself

amongst the young wolves

hairy, Turkish and progressive

and these are just jailed lines

mere fingerprints

a soft reflection, a soft abstraction

for the girl that buys me Maker’s Mark

(you already knew I enjoy bourbon)

condoms and a footlong sub before I wake up;

for the young black lyricist

who offed himself on Christmas Eve in Brooklyn

a year ago

because he thought he was the Baphomet

not nineteen

scarce, smugly forgetting the dullness of immortality;

for the manic lover I once had like faith

that I still yearn for

like a disorienting vibration or a tired diary

always an old photograph I keep

in the credenza drawer second from the top.

I’m not losing my mind

my mind is losing me

explicit, drug trade, pure powder

my friends still remind me

of the bodies they left behind them

super max with the sleepers

yet another murder, just like me

an ex-wife, a heroin addiction

the truth seeps out

until I have nothing left to write.

Still lonely, still romantic

still misguided and meaningless

still a big-dicked Russian

still know all my English

from Family Matters and Saved By the Bell

still feeling guilty for jerking off to Foxworth

still lost, still sacred

still

finding only fictional characters to relate to

still handcuffs when I’m in the better neighborhoods

still the professor buying eight viles on eighteenth

still the blue-eyed puffies on eleventh  

still and steal and steel

a new day like a pawnshop

a razor on the calendar.

This ragged divine will sing synesthetic and senescent

sold as cornerstore miracles

as a plaintive Southern spiritual

a beggar turned prisoner turned grand inquisitor

finally a visitor that I can sink my teeth into

talk about his day

the bric-a-brac of the latest Dow index

routine, solipsistic, involuntary sex

with a brief, apoplectic climax

his daily workout regimen on the newest incarnation of the Bowflex

but, I’ll change the topic and the tone of the conversation

by recounting

a story from a very stormy week ago

of prayers on a rooftop in Fort Greene

hands painted in bathwater and aurora

like an infant’s seraphic drool

and this was the day joyously beginning

with a serenade of wet paper between gracile fingers  

and the wind creeping in under the sleeves of her robe

shifting between murine burrows and emerald caverns

and at last there hangs a pause

we wait for an animal translation

he lights a cigarette

in a gesture that resembles a rimjob at a funeral

while we sit silently as liner notes

while I remember her perfume

that has long ago become an unfinished short story

not a full volume or even a novella

a short piece of prose

with unfixed grammar

underwritten characters

underdeveloped plot lines

a bowl of tangerines on the supper table

the manner of it still sleeps inside each nostril

a trick that’s survived the big reveal

an intimate afterglow icebound in timelessness.

My cystic raconteur checks his various marginalia

and formulates a response  

(Like the twentieth: Ke2; Na6 – forces a mate in three; immortality)

he says that I’m not living right

prioritizing the wrong things

sentimentalizing fabulist illusions, paramnesia 

no magic left marooned

the construction workers outside play some CCR

building overtime and twenty years for a broken purlieus

just another place to overstay your welcome

it sounds like “Fortunate Son”

but I always preferred “Someday Never Comes” like some father I never knew

who reared me as a forfeit, as you see me today

a funny rerun of a long-cancelled sitcom

pointlessly loving, unasked

and then he pours a drink to stabilize my hand

it shakes when not enough

and memory never is

and so my tongue loosens

and suddenly I’m all pronouncements

another prophetic drunk waiting for a judge:

“knowledge is assertion”

this is how kids begin their careers as assholes

first, some nugatory information

that they feel the need to relay

ad nauseum to their parents

and the myriad frustrated, frittering strangers

with hangovers that overhear around them –

you’ve found yourself as one before,

be honest –

so every reference

is your adult bit of trivia

that you can use

to one-up somebody else

make someone weaker

pretend intellectual superiority

like a Snapple cap

that knows the mystery to its own bullshit.

Instead

let’s use the newfound paradoxes

unshaded

to show us something else

illumination, possibly?

Beethoven and Goethe walking from the Teplitz spa;

Charlotte Brontë’s sweet words to Arthur Bell nine months after marriage with a belly full;

Issa, Hedwig, Captain Beefheart, Che Smith, Aristophanes,

that kid that reads his verses on the A train, laconic during rush hour,

shit, we can go fiction or do it straight

there are plenty anecdotes for all

that reveal antebellum life

as it is and will be

at the nucleus of its meaning

some new spiritual aviation, gin-soaked and garish

and allowed

and important

still

beating against eternity

like a pulsar pulled out as a giant’s heart

a gut full of a lover’s poison

a recognition that you can’t quite decode

and this dance is the same as a twitch

still

I am aloof like a cloud in trousers

another maniacal mayak lost in a sea of ephemeral history

I’m the long definition

the long con

my writing, though it seems like an easy decision

readymade for an easy critique

unlike what you may believe, it does not strive for the esoteric

but rather for a unifying piece of our shared universality

the empty space that defines us  

that deserves us, unique to each  

every reference a potential partner

waiting from across the ballroom

for those that might have skipped Baudelaire on their way to Bukowski

(or vice-versa – drunk, I can search out the inside of my cheek for either)  

between smoke breaks in the bathroom

looking for Venus or some bluebird

and while we wait and hunt

we have to pass the time somehow

and so  

we each gotta dance with the ones that brung us…  

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