For Edie!

29 Dec


For Edie!


Two junkies sitting outside Metro Drugs, Winter 2006, New York City:

“Have you ever read the Divine Comedy?”

“Yeah. Didn’t find it particularly funny.”

Bad joke. She laughed despite. He kissed her.


She was so young…

lengthy, full of life

a colorful speech

that chewed through the spine of the epic;

a contradictoriness personified

a contrarianism ennobled

all in a foggy dreaming fossilized –

one eye distinctly American,

the other incontestably Greek,

yet each a beggar

with a different blush

a different definition of the same antiquated lust –

now merely blissed asleep

in a slip that clings too near


No, not Edie!

“She was so lovely…”

dusky, full of ambition

a short hand on an unwound clock

a rainy frizz of unruly, chestnut curls

an easy rhyme ignored

a former husband’s spectacles appropriated well

around the neck

hanging lowly along the stoned smoke

filling up her lungs

barely enough air for an emerging shriek

an old foundation underneath her

creaking, then breaking, in a choreographed fashion

along the crackling dance-steps of the flame

a misty melody concealing the exit of this dimmet


No, not Edie!

She was so clairvoyant

such pale perfection

all strong sex and not enough applause

a parentage that informed detachment

with books instead of bodies below the floor

(hiding hot like Acconci)

read by cockroaches and rodents

quarantined from the blare of loud television infomercials

but because hers were kept on their proper shelves

the fire spread alphabetically

and her –

a new violet

a pleasant decadence

chapped lips and faithful, if unoriginal, bruises

a beautiful ellipsis

in a black dress just an inch too short –  

she burnt up just like the tragic Kansas’ waltztress

surrounded by exiled madness and apathy




no, not Edie!

I remember her so well

and it has been years:

her gait all scrupulous precision

each toe a polychrome suffragette for every step

moccasins, a childish glamour, a hasty pace;

I remember us

visiting the site of X-Ray in Portland

Julie Ruin in the tapedeck

windows open…

my hands have lost their former grip

and she knew from an early age

that haunted was the same as hunted

except that one looked better:

a post-modern hippie spinning webs

with legs and toes and curls and white

a delighted little glimmer in the fog;

she didn’t do Faulkner or Steinbeck

she had a depression era all her own –

an old Moody Blues record collecting doggerel hipster dust

until her graceful hand requests it from amongst the rest of the discarded brilliance

in boxes,

a shoplift of discount music undersold…


back then

meant all of it

she made me something to endure

with a sure reluctance

like jellybeans that brighten up a wake…

and now it’s her…

and now my hands have lost their former grip



not Edie –

another please


poet that dwelt in possibility, yet

just couldn’t find a home


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Jack Tsoy Tumult

Morose Pontifications and Other Poetic Ramblings

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