Waltz Emporium

That the sequelae of
such love has no
such effect can’t change
a bit where here
we are in this
coarse mood swing’s doldrums.
Tense is the season
where time usurps a
ginger snap, tachycardia enlists
the wrong man to
the job of whatever
job this really is—
a flank of venison
that outputs offshoots erratically
in tempered limb drop.
I fake back pain
and conceive of highjinks
suited to the rondure
of a crystal lapis
conference umbrella. There, love,
the park menu awaits.
Chilly denizens of fairy
bedtime stories do breaststrokes
in the heat of
fair espousal, gender removal,
plus and minus bargaining.
You must not love
me now nor ever
again says the creatine
injection with suave inflection. 

Denuded for the evening,
suffering Bell’s Palsy, honored
by the draping hard-on
in the wind’s backtalk,
we settle up our
score and make way
on immobile yachts high
above the derby tides.
You move with prolix
spasms, inflated misdemeanors, even
a ringlet of pewter
that you place in
glass ashtrays for mother.
Today and tomorrow are
not polyandrous—in fact
suffrage comes in bins
on liners from token
deposits of a rough
Neanderthal mandarin. Oranges. Stencil
stashes. Sigh. Exhale. Scoop
the muscle tissue contraction
that has too its
Indo-European roots—we
all do, you know.
We all do. Yet
love has channeled the
age’s decorum into a
rare late-hour affect.
Pudgy bottom trawlers, all
of us and them.
When was it one
first heard the spray
at the back of
the throat that clicked
its graceshaped cap in
some kind of rhomboidal
romp? I don’t know.
O, verily, I don’t.
BP has continued setting

out its continued commitment
to environmental restoration efforts
in the Gulf region
despite the company’s legal
challenge to the misinterpretation
of the settlement’s agreement
with the Plaintiffs’ Steering
Committee. Arousal. Keystone Light.
Flick me with the
teeth of your smile
in the patchy dust
rigger you call home
my positive legacy love.
From small denomination bills
a wad is born.
And, your Highness, to
my utter amazement’s grotesque
patience, at least $4
billion donations a year
await gas development plans.
It’s Labor Day, 1935.
A tropical cyclone plunks
down its bushy arms
in Floridian climes, alas.
A flood burgeons its
safe bet, breaks its
belt, a statewide panic
claims anonymous residents lost
in their casual historicity.
Fire. Tornado outbreak. Exploitation.
Silicosis at Coconut Grove.
Explosion in Texas City.
Dam failure: Santa Clarita.
You can keep stemming
the laundry lists of
American disasters privately, which
is to say morosely,

or you can do
so in this poem
and be judged for
it—rightly?—I think.
USS Indianapolis goes
down—near Guam—direct
action (military)—drowning, shark
 attack, hypothermia, 879 people
taken. The conceit is
plain, now, it exists
on a plain now.
A plane called Now.
Part of the tragedy
of dying in a
tragedy is losing one’s
dignity, one’s right to
personal, exclusive mourning—a
myth, yes, but one
we’d like not to
have robbed in front
of our very faces.
Rubbed out, the smokestack
plantation mill burned down
in the mudslide with
surprising caution, the witnesses,
onlookers, townsfolk, germs. Considerate.
It’s time. That terrible
time again. The scene
in the movie where
they must go and
part—and we’re not
even really sure the
tenuity of their... Bored
people are cruel because
now comes the momentum
of last resort. Hell
and habitude incurred by
salesgirls with failed aplomb,
pulling, milling, mulling, pilling.

I try to get
you to talk to
me and prop you
up and stuff you
with projected imagined speech.
The charming part is
you do not speak
even then what I
want you to—and
this is called something.
Junior jurors run away.
The fact seems to
be, however, a bullet—
a heart attack, company
dinners, unrelated fifteenths trying
to begin the enterprise
quite. Too many call
this something—this resort—
I try to get
even then what I—
resilient green and shaky
the lives lengthen custodial
bliss, worthwhile forays, unsaid.
Like the Jewish homosexuals
in Proust, we were
poison-ivy heroes, forgotten
on outer limits, played
badly by cameo Demerol
memorials. Is it right
for the dim vision
before me to salute
the end of my
qualities with a glass
of gin? Sometimes, your
voice, an imitation, a
thing said, a point,
is enough to let
gentle nature have its
most ungentle way. The

thriller is ending.
The thriller has ended.
The thrills are gone.
Most profound and subtle sense
be with me, tonight—
my love has evacuated
their sentimental fluids in
borrowed clothes from another
generation—one I hear
about so often, never
see, and this makes
me very lonely, depraved,
abject, foregone, a wasp
and wisp and gasp
with lisp. The cusp
of my love is
love, I think. A
kind of Calvinism in
reverse, if you think
about it. Love, goodnight.