In time for Halloween–A Modernist Nightmare!

October 27, 2009 at 10:12 am (Poetry)

Most typos intentional, here’s the nightmare, as I see it, of life and modernism, and presented in what is meant to be a generally unsettling way; just in time for Halloween! Enjoy! (And I know it’s long and meandering, but see it through; it all comes home.)

AND YOUR BIRD CAN SING
(a Modernist Nightmare and Beatles Cover in several parts)

PART I
For those of you who never
have the opportunity to read
the cover of the notebook this
was written in I’m penning
it here:
     I’m not sure why you
wouldn’t be able to read the
cover, just flip back right?
But let’s be pragmatic.
So just to be clear I’m not
predicting the future here,
just calling on Discord and
Uncertainty to do —
what they always do.
     I did date a girl
     named
     Cassy
once though, who could see
          the future.
It was like 16 Candles,
but I was 24, and it
sucked.
     I realize my prag-
matism is somewhat
     limited in scope
     here: if
the cover can go missing,
any number of pages
might also go the way of
the dodo, and it seems
as though any individual
page missing would shatter
the ribcage right thru to
the gooshy organs of this
attempt at preemptiveness.
But enough, I’m
getting on my own nerves*
     “Let simple and
old-fashioned myself stay w/ you,
     while ordinary things
     have been disappearing
          in the world.”
Tell me
     you’ve heard every
     song there is.
I’m old-fashioned like
Hansel and Gretel cooking
an old woman for meat pies
— you know they ate the witch.
I knew them when
they grew up: they
turned out pretty alright,
     all things considered.
Tell me
     you’ve heard every
     song there is.
   Old-fashioned
     like
wicked stepsisters cutting off bits of foot to
wedge what remains
into glass;
it’s the man’s place
to backhand the girl
the Woodcutter told
Little Red, when she
doesn’t go down on him.
Keep perspective, she
was like 18 at this
point.
Even though he was like 45.
Is it the ordinary that’s
missing from this world?
It’s the irregular that
we condemn anymore
in our actions.
Everything has a place.
No hollowed out Judas trees
set before Venus,
rising out of the sea.
We have ratchetclanks
and pistonsshses,
where once we had —
I don’t know anymore.
This is just ranting
          anymore; it’s
worthless, I’m done.
And your bird can sing.
But you don’t get me.

[parts II thru VI,
missing or unwritten,
circumstances uncertain]

PART VII
Catch yourself monologuing
like Jack the Ripper
     out on patrol:
     syncopate footsteps
     w/ heartbeats
only to run
          faster and faster;
that’s the long and the hard
of it
like the long and the hard
of him+
consolation prizes for
sheep stirring up
the subtleties, as if
anyone gives
     a big fat fuck
     YOU!
I’m sorry I’m
all out of rhyme scheme,
all out of pride; it’s
just the distance
          between
pen and paper
          for me,
          for this to be:
          literal scrawl.
     But you can’t
     see me!
     W/ the light
     shining so fiercely
overhead.
     And your bird can sing!
     Clear as bluebells, gray
on a cloudy day; certitude
handed out in 3
square meals a day.
     But you can’t
     hear me!
     So la la…
It’s my heretic pride:
hectic and harried,
hopeless yet harrowing —
we never had so much
courage before today,
right now.
I love you.
I couldn’t say it before,
but I think you got it by now.
     Remember that guy at
the Christmas party
who I stared down, yeah
you knew:
     the multitude of us
     flopped back
     in the corner,
your foot on my shoulder.
God,
     how I loved you once.
I still feel it half-a-
decade back, my
past haunting me
when I dare invite it in.
Shore up the crucifixes
above the archways & the doors.
I’m just stirring up
subtleties, sitting
here at work
thoughts
     of you
          outlining my memory.
It’s difficult.
It takes patience.
It takes the spittlekiss
spitless from my perception;
it takes the Charybdis
from my horizon, the
heart from my Scylla.
Treacherous amongst those
lotus eaters, but I’m
just going
to sleep, and not
come to.
I’m lost to the world,
to the words,
words,
world,
words,
lost.
We all trickle down.

PART VIII
Some people must
     waste away this way:
it sounds so feasible
that it must’ve happened
to somebody.
Life being what it is.
You get everything you want,
and your bird can sing!
But you don’t get me–
you don’t get
meeeeeee!

[whether part VIII was
originally longer is
uncertain, rest seems to
be missing, if there was
indeed more]

PART IX
Karaoke breaks out
like an infectious disease
across the club, no
one singing what they
want to hear, but
rather what the person
nearest them wants to,
so everyone learns to
endure hardship, cares
and gets what they want.
We all fell in love
w/ one another’s
brilliance, but I don’t
let that happen anymore
because it’s the sort of
circle jerk that breeds
animosity
because eventually someone
will tug too hard.
You get everything you want.
But you don’t get me!
I’m trying to tie this
all together,
everything: explain
     the world
     in a few simple words.
But it all keeps on trickling
               down.
Double-up!
Level up! Double-fist!
So ein Mist.
Zannen desu ne.
It’s just too fuckin’ bad,
isn’t it?
Well, it was. Pretty
sure, it still is.
Anyone checked?
Break siege! Walk outside.
We have answers to find.
Sometimes,
     we get the wrong
     impressions of people
     because there’s nothing
     to be said.
     No room to talk ::
     no room to understand
     one another.
I button the 2nd set of
buttons of my sleeves to
pull the cuffs tight to my
wrists. Don’t want shirt
cuffs or long-sleeves getting
in the way.
     Like some inedible fruit
     dropping from the trees
at roadside
and rotting
blocking out all other smells
w/ acrid vomit that clings
to shoes and bike tires.
And then karaoke breaks out
     like a fight —
saw it coming, didn’t you? —
death metal reverie.
Shockapocalypse:
sardonic salamandersluice slit
up the track, strung out
wasteyeyed on balcony
cocaine, it’s all right,
she’s alright, parrot
flutterfucking sussurusses
hushes of leaves falling in
haybales from the
heavens, heartbeats
retrosyncing in anticipation
to the moment Dylan
drew breath to announce
his harmonica
kettlebrass sass, slashes,
gaping wounds found
wanting soothing salts
to pacify the mind in
pain —
the staples of rape-
victim, sickness with
only symptoms synchronous
and internally rebeats
rehashed with what
it does as what it is,
how it always will
have been, 5 min.
from now.
     Meow
     Meow
     Meow
And we shall have no pie.
Just cold hands.
Can you
     see
          the connection?
Shore up the crucifixes
outlining my memory.
Shuttle bus in the sidecar
freak show — the horror,
the horror,
of childhood —
can you hear it on the wind?
Always there, always beckoning
in the background of our
lives, waiting to be recut
into our lives to grind
between the graininess of
cigarette burns,
signaling
     time to change reels.
     
          

PART X
Cassy kisses me,
tasting of ash; it’s
the cigarettes, I tell myself.
She grabs handfuls of sand
off the beach and
trebuchets them into
the sea: the beach is a
transient terror, reminding
me how many the world
has undone.
She silently slips her hand
inside my thigh and pushes my
shorts up into the crease
betwen the inside of my hip
and my groin: she
grabs hold and bites down
on the top of my ear,
whispering — but not
relinquishing my pained
cartilage — she says,
It’s time for that again.
What?
An itch you can scratch,
a man about a dog,
that.
Oh.
It’s the first time I’ve
seen her in years, on
that beach, and I know
it isn’t fate.
Just another story.
But I’ve no doubt she
knew I’d be here, either.
The same way I’ve no doubt
she knows what I’ll say —
or rather what I’ll do.
She’s older now, we both are,
but at least she…
looks as young as ever.

PART XI
Because there’s always
something after,
concomitantly concatenating
the details,
just in case
     the details are lost.
What will the history books read?
And your bird can sing.
Oh my son, my son,
     what’ve you done?:
strung my bow
     and loosed the arrow:
THUD!
sick sickle cycle sycophantic carousel;
roundabout barnraiser crypt caper keeper;
sally struthers strungout on weather;
so much slimmed down seriousness.
A handful of dust for the poor?
A handful of dust for the poor?
Or hatband legends;
this was written for you,
YOU.
You knows who you is.
No more second tries,
Lenny. The Georges of
this world have done
all that they can,
trickling down words
of good favor and fortune.
Oh ye wee timid sheep,
stirring up subtleties;
I did it for you.
All
for
you: sincerious, sinfully
delirious,
tritefully sincerely a myriad
of this —
because
if they get you asking the
wrong questions, then they
don’t have to worry about
you asking the right ones:
(or the answers)
that’s the conspiracy of
retelling,
drudging up old dust, for
the sake of metaphoric
equivalence :: equivocance
to what made you, but
perhaps it all lies
elsewhere;
undermined and undetermined.
Thouse naughty kittens
have lost their mittens, and
now they shall have no pie.
     Tell me
          you’ve heard
          every song
          there is:
it keeps adding up,
and the equation keeps
balancing, but it looks wrong,
like a word problem
gone awry:
if I take two apples
from five, I don’t end up
with $3.17 and a
hamlet in the south of
France, or do I?
We use the old way of
explaining things to
explain things again,
and perhaps it could
never be any other way —
that way lies
acceptance, defeatism
insteadm
     renounce everything!
And even though
THEY
say a lot of things,
THEY’ll
never see it coming.

PART XII
Why 12 parts?
seems insignificant:
months, apostles, etc.
But you knew that —
I told you,
as much.
Does it feel tacked on?
It does.
Shit.
Ah well, hope you’re
well and not in Hell —
read that at the funeral.
In reading that, did
you make funeral
rhyme w/ Hell?
Fune-er-rell:
goddamit, thought
we were past all this.
But we never can be,
never will be,
never shall be,
never tally the score,
during the game.
Of course,
we do, or we might
forget — ever watched a
sporting event where
     THEY didn’t?
But it’s discouraging,
isn’t it?
It is.
Shit.
Ah well,
it was only an interim distraction.
This is a night out for
nights out. All night.
Makes me miss the
turning point,
it went by so fast…
Stranded without streetlamps,
I try to describe the
darkness surrounding me,
giving it details, off of
which light can reflect,
reason can inflect, because
details, real or imagined,
are perceived, and for
me to perceive here is
for me to see here,
and those things I
describe, I see.
It’s belligerent, what
has been done to me,
and I know that
without fully comprehending
what it means, and
knowing that I have
never really known what
it has meant+
the jack-o-lantern
flaming-eyed on the
railing running round the
porch: cut and carved
from organic matter and
imagination.
Tell me that you get
everything you want,
and your bird can sing:
but you don’t get me,
you don’t get
meeeee!

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