Table of |
Asleep, off course, in riptide night,
on Carolina coastal waters and nightmare
alleyways of storm downed trees and
displaced dwellings. Desperation Blues on
the wireless, smashed crockery and in-shards-
glassware scattered about inboard cabin.
Adrift on the Sweet Sioux rechristened
Mary Celeste, a mosaic of forensics
smeared by wind and rain, warning buoys
white capped waved sideways in gale force
storm. Drowned paperback copy of Henry
Miller's Sexus, fright wigs and torn rubber
face masks, life squeezed out of red-for-effect
false noses, partials missing from artificial teeth
all suggesting the Party's so over now.
Staved in lifeboat and deflated raft hung
from starboard of the listing boat like skinned
animals, skeletal remains.
Mae West water vests bayonet practice shredded,
distress flags oil soaked rags for smearing
in-board windows, even the gunnels leaking.
He had the kind of face that
suggested he'd never been underage.
A badly set broken nose and perpetually
blackened eyes will do that for you.
Hung in bars with pool table back
rooms where band members played
eight ball and got righteously ripped
while look-alike clone punks played
their gig across town in low lit clubs
to whacked out Clockwork Orange
extras living up to their self-styled
images of droogs on acid.
A few fireball shooters with schooners
of high test German beers and he's
an alt-right crusader, ready to do battle
with anyone slightly off-color or vaguely
vertical and able to swing first and not ask
questions later. Occasional women
found him alluring in a sordid kind of
masochist, role playing, fantasy kind of
way. What followed was the stuff of
legend, that if written down would make
Juliette, vice amply rewarded seem
tame by comparison. Seem like a script
for your Aunt Julia's telenovelas slated
to be serialized on After Dark channels
on subscription only cable TV.
Interactions like these involved public places,
unique otherworldly settings, the odd zoo
for heightened effect that gave new meaning
to the concept of one night stand.
These kinds of encounters of the bawdy
kind led to severe memory gaps, lost
hours, even days, that reappeared like
bad acid flashbacks involving a stolen
classic sports car, disturbing U-turns against
traffic, police cars, and helicopters on you
ass, but no solid evidence of how the chases
ended or even if they were real. Often
there were marks, fresh wounds, beneath
rent clothes like long scratch marks on his back
that might turn septic. Sometimes they did,
sometimes they did not. It all depended
on their origin: human....animal...both...neither....
All the King's Men
Burning cross wisdom, firelight
readings from newly appointed
holy book of the Kloran: Klaxons
and Kleagles, bad spellers bereft
of reason, illumination provided
by hate speaking, self-anointed,
bigots, blood rituals instead of
baptisms, drinking by the defiled
river waters where a children's choir
of unchanged voices sings the devil's
songs at midnight: "Redrum Redrum....."
Black magic and moonshine, white
lightning warriors, personal space
invaders, forked tongues and
carbines, "Don't Tread on Me"
flags and tattoos, serpent spit
and viper bite, weapons for piss
Christ rednecks. Look into your
conscience preachers proclamations;
after the mob rule violence, those
who have seen inside themselves
have never been so alone.
The Sweet Life
Twenty-four seven slow motion
strip tease soirees and the neon
palaces they take place in.
Brooks Brothers bandits with ring
finger tan lines, nose candy nostrils,
late model Beamers in valet parking
lots staffed by parking lot hot jocks,
one conviction shy of a life without
hope of parole. On the take flat feet,
lap dancers with social diseases,
extended families to feed.
Broke down bouncers one steroid
shot from brittle bone mass reduction,
small ball syndrome. Been-there-done-
that-fuck-the t-shirts waitresses and
the bartenders that serve them.
Jukebox junkies, spinning platters
for brains, collapsed veins and blood
blisters the road map for the immediate
past, the near future, up against a hasn't-
been-cleaned-in-years bathroom wall.
The happy-days-are-here-again, all major
credit cards accepted, hookers and their
maxed out johns one orgasm away from
a not-so-happy overdose death. The bad
debt bail skip collectors and their heavily
armed, concealed weapon permitted
henchmen. The lower depths beneath
the main rooms no one admits exist though
everyone knows, would go there if they
could. The tits-up-in-hell staff that works
there and the music that they play, always
one dirge short of a requiem mass.
Here, where home is, where they hang
the hats, the privileged few, the ones who
come, and the ones who can never go.