February 18, 2005

Let's be undecided, let's take our time

Poems by David Lerner:

The Night of the Living Tits

Joie was back in town, see
and the joint was even liver than usual
the night of the living tits

see, poems were read
in honor of her return
from San Diego
where she'd been in self-imposed exile
boiling her art down to the impossible

but, anyway, she read a story, a
fierce flaming tale of truth and sentiment
ending with the lines,
"It's just like Dorothy said,
"There's no fuckin' place like home,"

and the place was like an
inferno of joy

and then she showed her tits

and then Danielle got up
to read
and she showed her tits
and it was good

and the temperature somehow rose
and the fair Kathleen, she
showed hers too
with a little bump and grind
they were excellent, soft and

and then it was Anna's turn

and everyone was so happy

tits, Joie, beer, poetry, dementia, heart attacks, the
world and everything in it, trading places
with fire, it was just
one of those nights

Slamdancing to the Blues

there's a sadness that is
better than love
it fell in the air
the other night

little girl face
with a mind as wide as Egypt

she reads all the high-class
sex literature
the pornography of Henry Miller
even the later novels of Rechy
now into the novelization of
Liquid Sky
and The Apocalypic Culture

during the days
she takes off her clothes to
Tom Waits and the Dead Kennedys
at a theater on Met
while the customers finger their crotches
and tip paper money

she said "How do I look?"
and I told her she looked like
a 14-year old beatnik with an
IQ of 200

she wasn't sure she liked that
she has invented herself so well
she's not sure she can

I know that song

Mein Kampf

all I want to do
is make poetry famous
all I want to do is
burn my initials into the sun

all I want to do is
read poetry from the middle of a
burning building
standing in the fast lane of the

falling from the top of the
Empire State Building
the literary world
sucks dead dog dick

I'd rather be Richard Speck
than Gary Snyder
I'd rather ride a rocketship to hell
than a Volvo to Bolinas

I'd rather
sell arms to the Martians
than wait sullenly for a
letter from some diseased clown with a
three-piece mind
telling me that I've won a
bullet-proof pair of rose-colored glasses
for my poem "Autumn in the Spring"

I want to be
by everyone who teaches for a living
I want people to hear my poetry and
get headaches
I want people to hear my poetry and

I want people to hear my poetry and
weep, scream, disappear, start bleeding,
eat their television sets, beat each other to death with
swords and
go out and get riotously drunk on
someone else's money

this ain't no party
this ain't no disco
this ain't no foolin' around
grab-bag of
clever wordplay and sensitive thoughts and gracious theories about
how many ambiguities can dance on the head of a
machine gun

this ain't no
genteel evening over
cappuccino and bullshit
this ain't no life-affirming
our days have meaning
as we watch the flowers breath through
our souls and
fall desperately in love

this ain't no letter-press, hand-me-down,
wimpy beatnik festival of bitching about
the broken rainbow
it is a carnival of dread
it is a savage sideshow
about to move to the main arena

it is terror and wild beauty
walking hand in hand down a bombed-out road as missiles scream, while a
sky the color of arterial blood
blinks on and off
like the lights on Broadway
after the last junkie's dead of AIDS

I come not to bury poetry
but to blow it up
not to dandle it on my knee
like a retarded child with
beautiful eyes
throw it off a cliff into
icy seas and
see if the motherfucker can
swim for its life
because love is an excellent thing
surely we need it

but my friends...
there is so much to hate These Days
that hatred is just love with a chip on its shoulder
a chip as big as the Ritz
and heavier than
all the bills I'll never pay
because they're after us
they're selling radioactive charm bracelets
and breakfast cereals that
lower your IQ by 50 points per mouthful
we got politicians who think
starting World War III
would be a good career move

we got beautiful women
with eyes like wet stones
peering out at us from the pages of
glossy magazines
promising that they'll
fuck us til we shoot blood
if we'll just buy one of these beautiful switchblade knives

I've got mine


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