Thursday, April 28, 2011


Skirt around the sin of circling around a skirt, that soft cleft—a little Latin chin, a little original sin—I sin, I swear I did, and still I win—despite your theft.

Every song worth singing is blue but nothing about the poet's “I” cools the tune; the guy that saw you pissing in your wishing well swears he won't tell; still, why do you keep on hidin' that hidden devil so long up your flue?

I sees it through each and every day; then I throw it, toss it, let it drift away and it's gone, long gone—anyway—in all its inconceivably allusive staying on or maybe coming back in the chorus of some cheesy folk singer's cheesy folk song.

My memory of it—and you—is gone, yet the words I write are still trying to kill you over and over—and again—can only reach out further into the pain in the ass that you continue to become, a stain on the world I wiped, I washed, and wrung out to dry (still gardening at night).

Because that skunk you always were, it seems to me, the pug hiding its white stripe in all that black, came skulking up to spray and you stunk up the place with all your grip-less gripe in gray and endless abandoning of your you and he and I.

From love to lacklove, juice to must, and justice to dust in 60 seconds; you keep on waving goodbye but never leave.


Friday, April 22, 2011


 (An historical literary meditation dedicated to the followers of Virgil Parthenias, my double, my doppelgänger, literary parents and siblings, secret sharer, inspiration and copyist, – mon semblable, – mon frère! Frank Andrick, Gérard de Nerval...Nadar, Rodin...)

Cranial Nadar’s framed Nerval will sleep in my true dreams from this day on, defamed, the way the road is a kind of life confused with the night. Rodin smoothed such beauty out of hand and cold stone while Nerval’s fever revealed, in a peal of leprous bells, ravens sleeping in the tower struck down. That collapsing of ear and door, of rank and file, rood and pillar,  the livelong day in the nick of time, in the might of our kinship and piss.

Then the resurrection. No peut-être’s ruse to be surrendered back and forth regardless of the heart’s needles. Further from the center, along the city’s margin, the double’s pen creeps up and down to Hell and back between the drunk, the dawdling, and the debauched, wishing on the vaginal star that came and took him down off of the Rue de la Vieille-Lanterne, careful not to destroy anyone in its path.

Justicia is armed against them, arms them against Misericordia’s staying hand. Handy that, yesterday’s excuse of precedent as a philosophical platform for taking arms against a sea of have-nots, hoping to take something home, and harming them once again with desperation’s helping hand slap. “Don’t touch that!” gavels the judge, regarding the flimsy points of law, “you might break it.”

Alone with the night and a princess’ broomstick, the geography of the city betrays you at last. A descent to end the circling, you dangle between Heaven and the deep blue pavement: hands nailed to a cross, yesterday's god couldn’t get down to help you either up to or down from. Our Lady of Enlightenment put you too rudely out of doors that night, your taunting aunt Ada has her note.

Merde!” you said, “the mere gawking of this madre dei corvi cawing will be the death of me.”  And it was. You saw to it with the saw-toothed practitude of the night both black and white.

The final gripe upon your pyre will be male, your lame coffin-brother’s translation from sloppy Montmartre to Père Lachaise. Death, the ultimate double. Finally to your grassy knoll of impacted cranial worms as they translate you back to solitude. The world will always have its regrets for being made in man’s image. You, and all of the followers of Virgil, will have Febilia’s fire and the night to make it shine.


Friday, April 8, 2011


(For Jeff & Karolina and also for Magdalena, Chris and Anna)

“When you live in a place, you must eat the bread of the people.”
–Jeff Gburek

Will the Mad Hatnik ever relinquish his hoary grip on our hearts? He is a fickle fiend who desires his own undoing above all other enterprises. He met the Devil at the crossroads—Zürich, by chance, when his flights were rerouted—and had no need to sell his soul, having recognized in himself his own single double indemnity policy’s sole and only beneficiary.

Hitchhiking back to Algeria, by way of Abernathy, he consoled himself with erotic daydreams and vodka suppositories. However, even in this he was not alone. Alhambra Akhmatova, his accomplice, has laid the road bare by vanishing again and again into imaginary existence. The very trees trembled at the power of the misadventures that they silently vowed never to actually have.

And lies? He could tell nothing else, not even time, and yet his cell phone bloomed yellow and blue in the sun through cracks that led, all too predictably, to the underworld.

Yet suicide might actually be a way, so say I and James Hogg, of rooting out the Devil’s truffle. However—no, not “but,” anything but “but”—however, descent was unnecessary for this, our land, turned out to be that of the dead, a salvific portal to all places, a Slavonic city of the central plain, so necessary to the nomads of the steppes and the rioters of ’56, a place of heartening renewal, where union is celebrated from the bottom of beer glasses upwards, where love cannot matter and, devoid of matter, is ever so lovely.

Craven indeed is that helpless double who cannot look himself in the eye, buy at least half of his own soul, ring his imaginary lady’s finger, smile at the camera, doff his hat, and save himself through the suicide of a lady’s man.


Zwariowany Kapelusznik by Lee Foust