Angel of Meat, Eye of the Past
In the lobby of the Ray Caesar, a girl eats an orange.
Shovels orange in her calamity mouth,
after orange bit, cheeks swollen
with pulp. Rind fragments
litter her lap. Her flat-line stare infinities
through me. Double edged sword night.
This nocturnal dress. These gouged stockings.
Skin peeks through silk.
These new scuffed heels.
Punched wall night.
Girl eating an orange in the lobby
of the Ray Caesar night while I stagger
on uneasy legs
through autumnal rain
night, night of neither silence
or salvation; night, violet night.
When I spritzed the cologne discovered
from under the bathroom sink,
Noir ghost materialized midair,
myth, or a foreign wish. And blood
flushed my cheeks
as if I stood too close to a guillotine.
I could not contain
myself in those few unleashed
moments, as if I were Aladdin, struggling
to cram a thunderhead
of a genie
into a thimble
of a lamp—
to undo that awful magic that brought
you back sensually (that is, of the senses)
to me. You, conjugated
into dark & organic
scent, Djinn, supernatural entity
occupying a parallel world,
smokeless flame. To hide,
or to be hidden with notes
in mad, madness, wafting
into the embryotic—
until you were the essence
and (granted briefly) in that breadth,
my head reeled.
Unheeded Advice the Half-Blind Fortune Teller Gave at Consequence Fair
Do not get eaten by a bird.
Nevertheless I'd spike
with mint. Paper-cuts hatched
my fingertips. Always beginning
& in the bottom of a well.
Daily I offered my earlobe to the night-
jar's scissoring beak. My wrist
to the ostrich's claw. Now, even in the mirror
house, over the roil of my manic
heart, I hear feathers pinking.
Beware being illuminated by the fool's
gold of the Pisces' eyes. Scales.
bones. How could I not look?
In the knife blade's reflection:
my tongue. Absolute
dark is neither absolute, nor dark. On the ocean surface
in the past, the omen moon drowns
in a silence-filled, private language.
Here is where the seer's grimoire-
eyes closed. I pocketed
some sprawled stones—quartz
some sterling in the donation box fixed
on the séance table like a coffin
for a turtle.
Devil in the lock. Cross on the hearth.
A lion crossed my path, a host
of sparrows arrowed the sky
While the rusted Ferris wheel,
cog on the horizon,
skeletal as an iris, churned in reverse.
Diagnosis: asthmatic desert, stifling light,
spells of dyspnea. I am a child
again. Across the ceiling, Aeolus' savage
shadow-horses awaken into stampede.
Rampant, they trample temples
inside out. They smash
pharynx & century plants. Their cyclonic eyes.
The spidery roots
behind those eyes.
Those beauties, those beasts, snort clouds
of barbed wire & dine upon apples
of fire. How did I cope, its hot polish
manifesting in my chest? In the dizziness,
shine sets stones ablaze
& I worry Wind, that great sculptor
will wield his invisible chisel & gut
the very air. Brick
patio incoherent white, stripped
morning shakes about its cage
of brightness & dissolves that feral
nocturnal breed into starcrumbs
& spinal trees. It's a neuroillogical dream:
asphyxia by night mares,
those blaring breath-taking steeds.
You've Been Bit by a Dangerous Snake
Switchblade cleavage, Cajun evening:
the charged Orleans' Saturday night streets—
all florescence, spice & grime. My brain on fire, is
your brain on fire, too?
Bangs stuck to my forehead like blades
of grass. Even the asphalt slithers.
Ubiquitous music. Feet
numb in heels not yet broken-in.
Dress clinging to my stomach with sweat, we
swagger-stagger back to the hotel, lured by cool
pillows & cut fruit. Would you like to taste alternate
reality, the counterpoison to now? With
a scarf, you cover my eyes. Reaching,
I hold onto the drapes.
Now; let me siphon that bite for you
says forked tongue, meaning, little
Medusa, let me draw daggers from your heart.
I beheld, in the hand-
held mirror, the doctor's gloved
hands unlock the backdoor I didn't know existed
on the back of my skull. I remove the bone flap.
& I half expected winged beings (butterflies trapped
in the beaks of birds pinched in the mouths of sturgeons
staked upon the bright whittled teeth of grimacing angels)
to swarm the not cold, but not warm room. Insert endoscope.
Instead, snowflake floaters sprinkled my eyesight, mini-
aturized tornadoes. Sensation, not unlike a pulley system,
& up & down
This is a procedure
to treat problems in the brain & the surrounding structures.
More culling, more mining, until buckets overflowed
with scalp from scalpel shrubbery, undevelopable rolls of
exposed film, organ music—phenomena I could no longer con-
tain or explain or entertain. Here is the tainted. Cloud
cover, plastic sky, some bloodletting. Then
the surgeon affixed metal plates, sutures,
wires, stitches. Patted the wound clean.
As a precaution, my sternum opened,
Plucked is the tomato of your heart.
Plopped on its silver tray, it fluttered,
then fluttered a little more before
taking with it, every memory
blight with you.