Always End up Trusting Cary Grant


The unwanted hand on her shoulder

     is the pivot of this motion picture.

I'll admit her neck, stretched as if

     before the ax, invites one's inner sadist,   


but it's not the same.  Hitchcock's

     made his cameo, has gone and left

his cattle to imprint their dispositions

     on this overzealous voyeur.


I'm addicted to discomfort.

     There's a certain gurgled laugh, a slant

of calf raised light against suspense

     that gets me going. There's the gun


as well, the sulking, smoke-filled

     mouth, great sex that comes

with shock, and with the early onset

     of one's Stockholm Syndrome.


In a theater on the eastside I jerked off

     while watching cityscapes get owned

by frame and fancy camera work.

     Can't believe I didn't cum. A dead sun


in the gangster's eyes, smiling premonition

     of untimely coming to your grave. You give

your all until you're all used up and then

     you get to say at least that you survived. 




Come in and Get Lost  


Through the foyer of The Carlyle, playing

     dress-up in my knockoff goddess garments,

open as a mother as the gala fills with gods

     and CEOs. The squid, they say, tastes biblical,


the flood to be exact. Reminders we're survivors,

     chewing on our Hokusai fancies. I could fill this

wing with what I've been inclined to hide

     inside me: kraken, sure, corked champagne,


bronze erections of the fabled brave. The entrée

     is a siren summoned from her odyssey with nets

and sous'-knives, served with a berry soup of mid-

     day blue. I am uncomfortable with beauty.


What we kill we eat and what we spare becomes

      our savior. There's no master where there is

no slave. I said we; let's leave that be as I'm a forgery

     so skillfully constructed it outdoes the real thing.


I mean just watch me strip off this humanity;

     newest virgin in a harem, hell-bent on a takedown.



Earthquakes Are My Favorite Way to Make Islands


We ignored the cries of the carbon monoxide

     detector, coitussed in a pose like Pompeii

corpses while the cabbies grew irate outside.

     This is the last day of our lives, until tomorrow.  

When I say I'm fine I mean the sky has opened

     like an old wound under scurvy, shown me

all its cogs, I can't go back to normal thought.

     We're pretty when we sleep. We're singing old

Bon Jovi so loud all our bones are shaking,

     makes me want to break him in my mouth.


Another thrill, another man to walk with

     through the flood-lit film sets of Central Park.

It starts off like a cyst, this partnership, gets

     supersized until it's visible to strangers, just

as dangerous. A voice comes on the platform

     in the subway, warns against cavorting

with abandoned baggage, say something, it orders.

     So I tell an armed guard how we squeeze each

other's words like triggers: tongue to cheek,

     to weekends spent accruing welcome bruises.


We could quit it if we choose. His moonshine

     on my breath the next day, staving off advances

from an old friend in a dead cafe.

No Exit 


I love your world, he said, just keep it to yourself

— I love your mouth.


In a Star Wars-themed fever dream

     I saw him lassoed by a solar flare and held

there in a warmth I can't provide. Blue light

     clicking upon waking, wishing


caffeine came easy as a boy of twenty.

     Think these sausages have feelings.

See them smiling from the skillet, soaking

     olives plucked in Florence by a sun-fold crone.


Wish I'd been there popping bottles

     of Prosecco by the boastful shadow

of that lady. Can't fake mornings undone

     by a brain as overanxious as a surgeon


with a bone to pick. One busted nose

     and I keep thinking it'll shift again, fall

off: some stupid uncle's magic trick

      gone wrong: I got your nose, I got your nose! 


He got me hooked on the illusion I was whole.  




Sit How You Want, Dear; No One's Looking


There's nothing worse than wishing

      that you had. You slip into a skinny

jean and beam up at the hard face

     of a man with natural disasters


on his mind. It's time to hang out

     naked in your kitchen, cook the landlord

his beloved dog. You're free, baby,

     hold your own against the gods


who thrashed you as a kid, the ones

     who didn't. Choosing to believe you're

here to hone the craft of living. No one

     knows a thing. A demon scans the platform


for a child, chaste, unbreakable, the sort

     he aims to break. The cockroaches

are prepped for post-apocalypse, crabs

     quarrying the sand for your abandoned


cigarettes. This is as pleasant as it gets.

     Now a bomb goes off outside the theatre

and you're spared; the concierge

     and ticket boy blown lobby-wise in pieces


big enough to pocket. You'll outlive this

     heat, but it won't be the ozone going,

it'll be the fervor glowing

     through the left breast of your favorite blouse.