Wine the tongue and let it feel
numb for awhile
paint your nails and dream of Harlem
buy grandiose hats a bourgeoisie's--
like your mother's floppy number
and don't step foot out of the house
we'll dream of Vegas and get lost
in the slot machines the way old
men whistle to the tunes of Sinatra
but he's nowhere to be found, just another
number, a squeaky cover band from Florida
go to sleep it will all be over soon
quilt pestering the cat
sit up straight.
The noon sun is feeling hotter
than it ever has in June.
I bought a hat to match my shoes
purse the red of my chipped fingernails--
it's a hot one
picture Vienna in the nude
How To Make A Vine Tick Like A Heart
Impossible. I've tried a thousand times
with mechanical wires. Electric shock.
I tried pushing the hem of my dress
up. Tried lighting a limp cigarette
in the rain.
Tired of endless pursuit. It crawled
but mute it lay. It waned to contort my face.
The spite. Felt its waxen leaves a bit displaced.
Crude the laugh that escaped me.
To think! My heavy hand curled around
its lithe neck. It shuddered a bit. At first.
And I thought
I do feel like breaking it. Or coiling
it around my thumb. It'll automate.
A tick--at least--if only from a direct
cut-off of my own. Circulation.
It was a silkscreen night--no, vapor.
It was a poor man's blanket;
he wrapped himself in potato
sacks, swore it was earth--
that placed him in the hide
of moon as a round-faced beggar.
His only distant whisper:
can you spare some silver
a perfumed letter
received this long stern
for every single finger-pressed
future, yet-at hold,
slender the arms' whereabouts.
All skeleton keys
a tongue shall find, exacting
the moment to coil, or recoil;
some thinness to hide in crevasses,
tempting to click mechanized parts
brave with thumb, the trigger--tick impulse,
admiring standard exchanges
with grace, control. Becoming
of the former,