barco (ii)

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Santa Muerte, I cannot pluck banjo

strings like Sal, nor compose on a guitar

 

like my brother. I do have magic, though,

of a different sort. I scrawl in the air

 

and the words jell and congeal. Even now,

Dama del Mar, with husky, haughty lips,

 

I reel across the deck each time we plough

through ten foot swells; each time salt water drips

 

in my eyes while sliding down swales to surge

up each peak. Below, in the engine room,

 

womb warm and sacred, one of your altars,

heart and cunt of this boat, keeps beat: gale’s dirge,

 

squall’s lament. Make this submarine my tomb

and I will gladly play shaman to sailors.

barco

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Santa Muerte, escúchame. Pretty

Lady, hear me. It’s not alms that I crave

 

but a submarine for my poetry.

Submarino del poeta. With wave

 

and tide, with cat and book, I’ll learn liquid

-rolling verbs, new words for endless motion.

 

Is a boat too much? I’m not craving blood.

Mother mine, mi madre, if your children

 

in FARC have one, might I too? They call theirs,

Narco barco.” But mine will be your shrine

 

in the brine; a place to write, sail and pray

under a seafaring sky. Hear my prayers,

 

Pretty Lady. Mamá Roja Divine.

Grant me: Templo de la Santa Muerte.

][][

Notes:

We call her Our Lady of the Holy Death (Nuestra Señora de la Santa Muerte). She is a folk saint, unrecognized by the Catholic church but worshiped by both members of law enforcement and Narco cartels. Outcasts and outlaws are drawn to her for it is said that she answers prayers immediately and protects against violent death. I use several Spanish words and phrases in the poem. “Escúchame,” translates into, “listen to me.” “Narco barco.” is slang for any sort of boat used in drug smuggling. According to the BBC, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) once utilized homemade submarines for that purpose, each costing around £1.3 million to build and could hold a crew of five.

mischief

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As I press down with my cock pressed into

the small of your back flames catch, your veils burn,

 

goosebumps shiver across your ass. You, who

Yeats called Hag, Cailleach Bhéirre, the Sidhe’s Slattern,

 

never despaired as he claimed you did. Crones

get laid like the rest of us. As I cup

 

your ass, tongue in your erogenous zones.

As you arch your back, your cunt’s tooth’d scallop

 

lips spread wide. As you rise the way souls grown

tongue-wise rise and turn and kiss me with that

 

haunted hunger I’ve never felt elsewhere

but as you cum. Taut g-spot. A Crone’s own.

 

We’re Yates’ Scary Fairy and Saucy Brat.

Rise like mischief, like Sidhe, Host of the Air.

][][

Notes:

The Host of the Air and Sidhe (pronounced, Shee) are two of the names given to the Gaelic fairy-folk in stories and legends. The Irish poet, W. B. Yeats, pronounced Cailleach Bhéirre as, “Clooth-na-Bare,” the name of an old school fae who wanted to die because she had grown old and no one would love her. Slattern is a Victorian word meaning prostitute or a sexually promiscuous woman.

bait

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You got us, trolls. We’re the unhappy few

with sub-par brains. We got no savvy. Our

 

tribes of scribes? Dim-witted. Our no flow crew?

Sucka MCs. Our erotic lives? Sour

 

grapes. All that you accuse us of is true.

This is the safe way out. “Poet is Priest,”

 

Ginsberg cried. But trolls got no god. They spew

hate. They laugh when we take the bait. “Artiste,”

 

they sneer. “Poseur.” All that grief, misery

and fear that drives us means nothing to them.

 

Ire we’re seen, dead we’re raised, gods who return

for our love: all proof of our lunacy.

 

We’re fools, drunkards, dullards who think mayhem

is art, who think it means something to burn.

yaadilah

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I signed you out of the Shiprock half-way

house to drive you to your rehab meeting.

 

You’d “come loose” again, so we skipped foreplay

and climbed into the backseat. “Anchoring,”

 

you called it; my cock buried in your ass.

Mud hook. Cumcocktion. Pain, sublimely raw,

 

pinning me between your twisting hourglass

hips, leaving you sprawled on top. “Yaadilah,”

 

you groan. Hints fill the air: creosote, sage,

far-flung thunder. Yaadilah. What The Fuck.

 

Anchoring you down is hard work. Not cold

turkey hard, of course, but still hard. Rough rage

 

fucking. Cum-smeared C-scar on your stomach.

Coming loose, the kids say. Gone, y’all, stone-cold.

][][

Note:

In Dine bizaad (Navajo), “Yaadilah,” is the equivalent of, “What The Fuck,” in English. The town of Shiprock (Naatʼáanii Nééz) is home to Diné College as well as the Northern Navajo Fair.

tight

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“Thrust deep in me,” you said, while the hostel’s

bed groaned. You groaned Greek, then tight Moabite,

your Bronze Age birth tongue. Tight as your muscles

around my cock. You answered my invite,

called me, Dha’i-fah. “One who’s dispossessed

to be possessed by ancient sex demons.”

Such as you. Such is your skill. To be blessed

in a world still perturbed by lewd passions

is still a gift. I’ve searched the Thar, Gobi,

Deir ez-Zor but found you in a simple

hostel in Fez. You said: “Not in my cunt,”

and pulled me free. “Cum here,” guiding me

into your ass. “You don’t know what vulval

nightmares I unleash each time I’m pregnant.”

][][

Notes:

The Moabite language was spoken in Moab, an ancient kingdom located in what is now Jordan. Fez is a city in northern Morocco. Thar, Gobi and Deir ez-Zor are deserts located in India, Mongolia and Syria respectively. Dha’i-fah is a term used in Morocco concerning certain demonic spirits inability to possess a person whenever they feel like it; rather the victim must be willing and eager for such a possession to take place. Unable to read Hebrew, Persian or Arabic what little information I can find seems to indicate that Dha’i-fah is mainly used as an accusation against women who enjoy pleasure for its own sake.

shadowlands

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You will drip with pain. Seduction will itch

in you; an itch that leads to shadowlands.

 

The dark is the lure. I know what will bewitch

you and why your inner sinner demands

 

control. I don’t know, though, why you’d submit.

Married. Pious. At peace, you say. Those old

 

dreams, back when you were a slave to your clit,

must be gone. They’re not for me. You’ve controlled

 

what still runs riot in me; which is why

I don’t share each gasp, each cum-soaked finger,

 

each of my wet dreams about you. Divine

lust is dark, like faith. Once I would defy

 

the world to make you drip. You’re no longer

itch. You no longer call me, “rude boy, mine.”

faux

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“I too Analyze,” the spambot confessed,

with Safe and Sexy cam models!” “Big Dick

 

Trickle.” “Dajuana Cox.” “Mother Knows Breast.”

So much for my Shakespeare essay. Type, “Schlick,”

 

in by mistake and whole new worlds open

up. It makes research a tad hard, bastards.

 

Still, I’m sure friend Spambot had lots of fun

crafting wretched sex puns from all my words.

 

Kinda respect such asinine zeal

to the Absurd. Genet would’ve been proud.

 

Flarf. Faux Joejobs. Spoems. Ass-‘n-9. None

of it sparks joy … like Dick Trickle. Surreal

 

but not clever. Cold but not kinky. Loud

but not sublime. Zealot but not shaman.

][][

Notes:

Jean Genet is one of my favorite petty criminals and playwrights. Champion of Theatre of the Absurd he wrote The Thief’s Journal and Our Lady of the Flowers (where Divine, of Pink Flamingos fame, got her name). The idea of this poem came from Steven Frank’s Spamusement! which took subject lines from spam emails and turned them into single-panel gags. Flarf, Joejobs and Spoems do the same thing but, as I’ve often found, without the humor and self-awareness that makes Frank’s work a joy to read.

nostalgia

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Around the time when earthly pinks and pearl

had been drained from the sky and the crows rose

 

in their trees to caw gray into the world

I stirred in nightmare, in sodden nightclothes,

 

in that sick sweat I get when pneumonia

curls cute in my lungs. I type in a fog

 

while in bed, one fingered, the nostalgia

of lust both heavy and out of reach. “Flog

 

a dead horse,” you text back. “Lust is all that

you write about.” Perhaps. These new gray days

 

of crow caws and ice match my libido.

Who do I turn to? Even my tomcat

 

retreats. Once I called lust prayer and could praise

pleasure. Now it’s less grace and more deathblow.

études

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Climax, crescendo and the Devil’s joy

wrung from her violin in the café.

 

Later she said: “Oui. You’re ah ‘ice fuck toy.

I weehl steahl you.” Soon she turned to risque

 

tunes coaxed from Paganini’s cursed fiddle;

four strings hinting at uncanny glamour.

 

Oui. Zat despair een ‘is eyes, unable

to speak because, you know, lairynx can’cair,

 

as I slipped eet from ‘is ‘ands.” The dying,

she said, were, “ah ‘oot,” to fuck with. “Love eet

 

with zair, ‘but mon Dieu loves me’, attitudes.

Pourquoi?” Hers was a fugue seducing

 

glamour and the rest just,“’ippy bullsheet.”

Hints of crassest sex from refined études.

][][

NOTES:

Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840) was an Italian violin virtuoso and believed by many to have sold his soul to the Devil for a legendary red violin. I go back and forth as to whether regional accents help a poem or hinder other people from understanding it. The truth is that I have a lot of fun figuring out various accents but there’s no point in writing something no one else can read. Here’s the translation if any of my fake Parisian words confuse:

Climax, crescendo and the Devil’s joy wrung from her violin in the cafe. Later she said: “Yes. You’re a nice fuck toy. I will steal you.” Soon she turned to risque tunes coaxed from Paganini’s cursed fiddle; four strings hinting at uncanny glamour. “Yes. That despair in his eyes, unable to speak because, you know, larynx cancer, as I slipped it from his hands.” The dying, she said, were, “a hoot,” to fuck with. “Love it with their, ‘but my God loves me’, attitudes. But why?” Hers was a fugue seducing glamour and the rest just,“hippy bullshit.” Hints of crassest sex from refined études.