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Between Shit & Shinola

"Farewell to lyric waste."
                           - E.M. Cioran

Thoughts on waking up to a salesman's
                              phone pitch
Again I feel a bit nauseous
& I know I'm not going to have a baby
For Charles Henri Ford--It's difficult
to be a great artist without a soul
Why do I require revenge?
Because he has removed something
important from my life
& what was that thing, a fake friendship,
a chance to be used, an opportunity
for communication w/a fellow member
of the Aquarian Mouse Club--So what?
I'm feeling destitute,
My own feelings have lost their magical
My desires refuse to manifest
Even TLC (Tender Loving Care), my black
& white photo lab, Victor & Francesca
say that they will have to close soon
They have been abandoned
in a wake of computers
The Aborigines are right
Stay naked & keep walking
Food will offer itself
So much for capitalism
Seeing Through Clothes
is the name of a book
on the table next to the bed
Catherine de Medici sits in a tapestry
at a court festival wearing blak
Do I want to make a subtle anti-fashion
statement & invoke all that black implies?
Would I like to go to Tierra del Fuego
& paint my body with stripes?
I don't know if there is enough time left
I'm trying to finish my movie,
the one I've been preparing for
all my life--The Purgatorio
I can already see the face of Beatrice
reflected in the left eye of the unaltered
The pen in my hand has a sharp point
& I wonder if I can work up the nerve
to stab myself in the throat with it?
Is that normal thinking for a naked man
on the eighth floor of an isolation ward?

Do we need to discuss originality
or the death of a president
whose tabletalk alone should have
condemned him to eternal damnation?
I speak of Richard Nixon, the Dauphin of
                              Cottage Cheese,
whose burial cost the nation 400 million
in paid holiday time & more
And then there is the story sent to me on tape
by Don Snyder of a man (he was French)
who spent forty years planting trees
to make a miracle of forest, a restored paradise
I kept expecting the story to end with his
for is that not the story of Man
or would that be simply Oprah's paranoia?
Down to the bone, please
I'll order another skeleton & pay w/food stamps
or my friend's credit card
and don't forget to save a place
for Gherasim Luca
Ramuntcho thinks it takes more courage
for an old poet of 79 to jump into the Seine
than a younger poet
is it a matter of courage
or just a question of desire?

There is something positive in all this, though
Now that Nixon's body has been interred,
the mail will be delivered again
& there are rumors I will be crowned Emporer
of Europe in Brussels next month
Shades of Piero Heliczer!
Economy is the job of poets,
not the endless lament
of the Killing Machine
If you want to make a living,
learn to make sharkfin soup
If you want to make a killing
there are openings in Bosnia, Rwanda & Jerusalem
A man sits at the end of a bench
in the middle of Broadway, his pants down to his
wiping his ass
Ten feet away at the other end of the bench
sits his girlfriend with a broken tooth
swigging from a pint bottle of whiskey
"At least I didn't get any in my pants," he says
nonchalantly as a bus chugs by going uptown
If this ain't Western Civilization, what is?

I'm not really dying to be dead
I'm just tired of being a harp of bones
played by the fucking wind.

May 3, 1994

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