Scars of Womb Envy and Other Poems of Hope and Despair
I was there at the scourging
and remember the Crown of an Iron Age
pressed upon the brow.
There…bound in leather
in robes…moist with agony
they reminded the defeated lover
what a slut and good fuck…the virgin is.
I know…I’ve heard the argument before:
the world knows nothing of him
therefore he knows nothing…of the Earth
or the obscenity of crusades.
For that reason I understand this crucifixion:
it is Lucifer he wages war with
and follows…and leads each fallen angel
from the prisons of hell…against the thrown of heaven.
After all let’s not pretend the father…is innocent of evil
for it was not born in the garden
not that kind…of hatred.
And even demons have their plan
in protecting martyrs
from your un-scarred body.
So do not tell me of blasphemy
not when the pure of heart have known…
mutilation and despair…
and a deity so unmoved by prayer…it is frightening.
Now, let the ashes of my corpse terrorize you…
in spite of him…in spite of her…
in spite of the crimes of a forsaken messiah…
I have chosen sides and swear…
I remain forever at war…with your God!
On the day you kept the rabbi from celebrating the bris
and the priest from performing the christening
the angels ceased to dance.
Now I give you these truths as evidence of my agony:
The womb is not so miraculous
as the lost mind…that gave birth
to the infants laughter.
The tabernacle is not so sacred
as the heart…that conceived
the fetal yearnings.
And nine full moons is not as long
as each day…I dream the child into life
and forever from my embrace.
My heartache will not heal; your innocence will not return.
For I have this scar you left as a memory…of your love.
I remember as a child…
where the rainbow…
promised to touch the earth…
and the side of a hill
and the birds who lived there.
We picked blueberries then
and swept a path through the green jungle
vowing to never reveal
we’ve now forgotten.
It’s easier to talk in the third person
to tell you what I know about him.
He was upset…with you
…with the empty bed
…and with himself.
That is why he left
the phone off the hook
to warn you
…of his anger
…and his wounded vanity
…and his phobia of phones.
And that is the most important thing I can tell you.
He is not proud
…he can not abandon his hatred
…even for the wrong reasons.
If you knew him better
at 11:00 p.m.
he wanted to call…
to torment you…
with the love…
of his tormented heart.
But the man is no fool.
He was wise enough to know
he did not want to know
…it was already too late.
For Stephen…who doesn’t want to know me
You don’t really know this but had I pressed the matter
I could have easily slept with your wife.
It wasn’t easy not to
she smelled more of the earth than of raw vegetables
she was well trained in Jewish lore
she knew everything about Rodin’s mistresses and
she loved Michelangelo.
This is a warning: Don’t let her out of your sight.
I can tell you from past experience
…are easy to misplace.
I never saw you in Tina min Square
or St. Peters-burg
or in the other prisons
in Washington D.C.
I never saw you inhaling
tear gas in Paris
or in flames in Saigon
and in a hundred thousand
other cities and times
I never caught you…stealing
because you were hungry
or wanted to share
a lost mind.
So do not tell me of love or freedom
and how to wage war
and especially do not tell me
how to protect children.
Halfway between the Pentagon and the clinic
my suicide note began
on the road to Dachau
or was it Syracuse
or Front St.
that reminds me…I have no family.
I am only here to warn you
the last of the hippies
…is still alive.
Lucifer, I could have loved you…
more once…when you wore the tiara…at the Cyber Cafe.
But now you have the coveted crown…of loneliness to wear
so wear it…wear it well…it becomes you.
Because hell is empty and Satan is gone…leaving you only…
a thousand dollar phone bill and a wardrobe of chastity belts…
each one colder than the last.
And where is Satan? Satan is lost…and in a lonelier place still.
Satan is in the nakedness of Limbo…and in the terror of wondering…with hopelessness…
if he is the Antichrist…or the messiah…
or only in the agony of knowing…he is loosing his mind forever…again.
And you want to go there with him…but you can’t
because you can’t hear his heart scream:
When can I come home…from the war against hate?
And can I ever come home…from the war against love?
So how did you think I would cum…and my kisses taste
when you took the phone from the hook and changed your address in a night?
Did you expect me to rest…in peace…on the laurels…
of yesterdays…dead poems?
And where were you…when Nature’s arms opened up
and a forsaken man cried out:
I have no scars. I can’t walk on water. I can’t change water into wine.
I can’t be him.
And I wonder…are you jealous of her now…when she whispered then:
That’s the way it’s suppose to be.
Because you have long legs and beauty and your breasts and thighs…
are willing to be touched.
But is Venus still in heaven? Because Cupid is gone too…
leaving her only…the dream of New York and holding hands…
And sometimes I too forget…what ever happened…
to the beauty of phone sex…
and the beauty…I never knew in Spokane
who no doubt is already in the arms of another…
trading in golden locks
for a more virginal phone number
than the one she lured me in with.
After all…wasn’t the music of my poetry…as good and angry
as Patchable and Marilyn Manson
or didn’t you like the conversations…
and being welcomed to Limbo, my love…
and the war against war…
where I’m still not sure…you were ever as nude…
"…as the young and the hopeless."
The Pretty Prostitute
Like Magdalene before her and the angels after her
she was aging…and on the other side…of expensive.
We collided, during a sick age…in a sick place;
I, with my delusions of grandeur…and she, with stories of torture.
There were wives there then…who argued in favor of damnation
for the whores of the day…and the whores of the night.
My whore was silent… so I argued…in favor of lovers.
It was useless…so to spite them…we shared cigarettes…and coffee
and holding hands…and an embrace…
but a price was never agreed upon
…for love…or dinner…or a picnic in the sun…and then she was gone.
Afterwards…by way of the streets…I found the address she gave me
and was invited…into her asylum.
So we talked again and embraced…and then in only moments…
I too was gone.
I heard that day by means of the sick age and the sick place…
she found my flowers and candy and music…unimpressive…
so they ceased.
Later on…I came back to our meeting place…as I often do…
for days or weeks or months or even longer
only to discover…she was already there waiting for me.
She discovered…I hadn’t changed…but I had by way of money…
more stories now..of torture and pain.
She had the unfortunate type of misery…
that did not like…that much company.
I remember…by morning this time
we were no longer holding hands
and by coffee…we were no longer talking
and even my coins had stopped impressing her.
What I do not remember…was why…
she did not argue…when I said good-by
and made the cruel suggestion…that she have a good life.
It was a long time later…at a new meeting place
where my long lost whore discovered…
I was still waiting for her this time and when I heard her say,
"You’ve changed." I realized…she hadn’t.
She was still beautiful.
As for whether she was diseased…
there are cures for some kinds of crimes
but there is no cure…
for not knowing…if I was only…a one night stand.
For Barbara and Susanne
There was a child…and then a season later…another
Who died at a very early age…victims of child abuse.
Even my love for you was not enough to save them.
And because of this…
the rainbow never again held a promise
…the sunset lost all it’s beauty…
and the magic of the full moon…was destroyed.
You must understand–for me there is no consolation
…no penance–with enough pain
…no atheism–with enough emptiness
…no cathedral–with a God strong enough
to burn from my heart the memory of their innocence.
I confess…I am the son of Joan of Arc
And for proof…you who have only faith
while I have as a legacy…
the honor to wear her armor
and to be heir to her courage
to hear a choir of angels
singing…the end of hope.
But because I am her child
I have seen
in the maiden’s eyes
the end of despair
born by the tears and incense
…of burning flesh.
So in the emptiness of this arena we share
let it now be revealed to you…why
I have the privilege…to carry
a shield of voices…sighing in the summer breeze.
It is because I have for a weapon…a woman’s sacred longing
to see her tempered sword…sheathed on the field of battle
in the enemies war…against the olive branch.
And that is the reason…I can not be bribed
by the argument of forgiveness
in the hallucinations of your court
that strives to inflict upon reality…
a voice in time…for tyranny.
So do not tell me about the sins of humility
it is pride that keeps me from being tempted
…with the politics of salvation
and the dreams of the heretics Church
still drunk on sacrificial wine…and blessing the starving child
with damnation…for the theft of bread
consecrated to feed the poor.
For these and all my other crimes
I have chosen the rainbow…to blame
…for allowing me to remember…
the deluge and the thunder…
that is only an echo of the screams
of the excommunicated mother
who has beckoned me to warn you:
It is her favorite son who is incurably ill
with an insatiable desire…
for revenge…for each day
an army of physicians…deepens the wound
left by the surgeon’s scalpel.
This is not an omen…this isn’t even a vow…
it is only a prayer that was answered…in the beginning
when I was embraced…by a woman clothed in flames.
And she knows the truth of this punishment.
There is nothing wrong with her children.
They are alive and well
…in a world
…that is raving mad!
This suicide note began before…or was it after…
I remember playing there…
beneath your neck
above your navel
underneath your leaves
amidst the sound of the bay…
Where we lived…in a bed…of paranoia
and money…from stolen music
and enjoying sacraments…from any priest…who happened along the way.
The nights lasted forever then…and sometimes the work in the fields…
and the factories lasted…even longer.
This suicide note began after…or was it before…
I remember playing there
beneath your navel
above your thighs
underneath your leaves
only to raise my head from the scent of your sea
to answer the request from the next room…
for sugar…for coffee…for tea…
or another stolen bottle…of expensive wine.
It was easy pretending then…until our final words
as long as we forgot every morning…
we had stopped talking…the night before.
After all…perhaps it does not matter…whether we lied to one another
because I know…even the courageous…have their moment of terror
…in the face of truth.
For in time…I found phone calls are sharper than the voices…
leading to razor blades…
which is the only proof…I need to know…the scars of your absence
still haunts me.
That is the reason I lied
so you would believe…this obscene truth:
the surest way…to the only heaven with you I knew
was through the pavement of hell
fashioned by the hate of the prisons I came from.
But by now…my softness would love companionship…
even in the arms of a lessor woman…
who also does not care…about such profanities.
Perhaps I am only clinging…to not having enough cruelty left
to buy more innocence…with the bones…of more children
…who would be buried here.
Because now it is already time for the vigil to the end of our story together…
I was there one night…agony and passion came…and died in your arms.
So forgive me…this is the only wedding gift and blessing
I have left for you both:
Of all the beautiful and ugly angels…
I have known and loved and hated…
you were every God I ever dreamed of…and more.
What the critiques are saying about…anything.
"Well I’m still an embryo…with a long, long way to go…until I make my brother understand." Helen Ready
"Three months into the womb I was already beginning to record memories." Salvador Dali
"The only man with energy, yes the revolution’s pride…he taught a hundred women just to kill an unborn child." Leonard Cohen