Friday, January 28, 2011

Pet Cow

I only see her in summer; in the winter, some man comes, but not often. Short, sharp fur, scar near her shoulder in the shape of California. Black and white and black. Does not hesitate to shit on me when I get near her tail. Eyes like limpid balls of goo or something I could stick my thumbs into. Liquid dotted by vague filaments, possibly parasites. Some man with cold hands, fingers that feel very rough on her teats. I used to tease my skin open with an exacto knife. Ear surrounded by dark swarms. Slow to look and poke, barely interested in what I have in the hand behind my back. She lets me lift her right front hoof and scrape between her toes with a hoofpick. Someone whose voice she never recognizes, no matter how often he calls. I used to tie the trussing string from the roast beef round my arm till my fingers turned dark. Nyquil hummed me to sleep at night, green buddy, thick mulch tongue. His hands, rough and cold. She's a summer animal: I can't imagine her visible barn breath in winter, her huddling next to other cows through the dirty slats, another one munching on her tail, on the tip of her tail til it bleeds like a nipple.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

This is an old one I'd thought I'd give you another look at:

Disaster Porn

He rips the door off the hinges at 4am -- it's not even locked. He stumbles and hits his head on the chair. He lies still, his mouth slightly open. I can smell the piss on his pants -- there's a yellow trail of translucent vomit down one arm. His eyes are so swollen they look like leaking red fruits, as pulpy as plums. He makes himself a bowl of blackberry ice cream and falls asleep. He tips over, wakes up; he steps on the cat's tail, he steps on the cat. He leaves the refrigerator door open, knocks milk all over the red-tiled floor. He turns on the gas stove. He tries to light a cigarette and sets his beard on fire. Milk footprints follow him into the bathroom. He tries to make a knot of the shower curtain and hang himself, he tries to take off his shoes and pants at the same time. He ends up face down in the tub, scrabbling and slipping. He pauses: his breath is wet and heavy. After a moment, he asks for a beer.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I can't get this to format correctly on blogger -- so you'll just have to click:
Radical rewrite of an earlier poem I've been banging around for years: does it work for you? Fawn, Calf, Mare, I dream... clickie.

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Overdose

Not like a river. Not like flying. Not a good taste, anywhere. Not dark. Not like a tunnel, not like a train coming out of that tunnel, with me tied across the tracks, me under the wheels. Not like music, playing softly in the distance. Not like the slang, not like anything misspelled or garbled. No small animals at the fringes. Not in the mouth of a large dog. Not like dragging a piano through the street, a rope around my neck. Not like many soft hands. Not like falling deep into a feather bed from a great height. Not like a film playing in slow-motion across my stomach, across my mouth. A little like a tiger, like a tiger falling from a great height in slow-motion, with a rope around her neck, in her mouth, watched by small animals softly in the distance.

Friday, January 07, 2011

The Future

In the letterbox up the stairs, she found a letter postmarked from the following week. It was cold and wet along one corner, like it had been sitting in snow. She took it into the kitchen and put it on the table in front of him. I'm still waiting, he said, watching her out of the corner of his eye. She took two mugs out of the cupboard and slid them onto the table. She put the mugs back and took out a plate. The plate had grey fingerprints along the rim. I told you, she said. I'm too busy. She dipped the plate into the sink of dirty water, then lifted it out by the edges, and set it gently on the table. They watched the tiny grey soapbubbles crack and disappear. She took his thumb into her mouth and tasted tar and dust, something chalky like soot or medicine. He closed his eyes.