Sunday, January 24, 2010

a few things from "Rod Serling Was A Legs Man"


The wind is sighing sorrow
while I puke out my guts
into a flowerbed by the stairs.
Chunks of bile-colored vomit feed the marigolds.
I stoop there dazed,
wiping my mouth off on my sleeve
as the irises rise in kamikaze dashes of pale viridian.
Somehow I clatter and key my way
into the small stuffy room
where I live.
The guy next door bangs the walls;
I bang my head against them right back.
Sometimes when I get home,
after the bars toss me out with the empties,
I find my flask still has some whiskey left in it,
and I rejoice like a leper at an opera.
I revel in whatever it is that’s left in me
that wants to go on.
Every so often I punch my mattress until my knuckles bleed.
This is not an easy thing to accomplish;
try it sometime.
I’ll scream things
like, “No more Wednesdays! Kill the clocks! Slaughter the fucking mirrors!
I outrank everyone on this goddamn block!”
And I’ll end up on the floor,
born out of the common,
face white as a clown,
staring at grapefruit-knife blades of moonlight bending through the blinds,
wishing I had another bottle,
or another girl,
to make the pain go forgetting on away.
The night might be pretty damn tender,
for all I know
it might be a midget in a gorilla mask—
for all I know.
For all I’ve got
is this inept thirst for oblivion
that no amount of booze will slake.
But the only thing that matters
is just this last drop of whiskey,
and the promise of more
and to-morrow,
and of course,
to-morrow too.

The Repose of Horatio Alger Jr

Another January mists by in drifts of rain that spot windshields, and the guy outside my window is scared of the sound buses make, that squealing screech that wheedles and spits sparks, and he is screaming at the phone lines to stop their sizzling, which is like bacon frying, and maybe he’s right, maybe it’s all too loud, but the music in here is not rattling anything, it’s just slipping through the cracks of wakefulness, it’s just something to sing along with until the day changes its clothes and tries night on for size, just another January slipping away underneath the clawing huddle of fog, another Sunday trying to wish Monday away, another surprise of sun, and there’s that scraggily rat of a man outside my window, and he’s got his hands on his ears, and he’s shouting emphatically to any pigeon that’ll listen, but he doesn’t know their names, and I look out at him down there going through the rabid motions of his life, and I know that I am no different, in here, somewhat safe and somewhat warm, unable to type very well, hungry, listing towards loss, but there is nothing better than this way of stabbing through the weather, of mistaking turpentine for paint, of halting the march of boredom, of walking the wrong way to the sandwich shop on purpose, of believing in the triumph of insects and Bloody Marys, of hurtling wads of toilet paper at the television, of hiding and wanting to be found, another January spills by without even one twang of a slide guitar, another dumped ashtray of a day, and the man outside is gone, and you better believe that nobody in here is falling to pieces, not just like leaves at the door, of that you can be sure.