Fears of Men
The fears of men leave a greasy smear
on the ground trailing behind them.
For a while, they are bears attacking a bee hive,
ravaging the honeycomb for just
a small taste of something so powerful
that they are raptured into forgetting
why their hands shake, lips quiver.
The bee’s stingers make holes
in the heated men and sizzling fat drips
through the holes leaving
an inelegant stain on the carpet.
That’s how it gets there.
Spring after spring of beestings.
Men squeal in delight rolling on their backs.
Men do not need a carpet
to roll around. They got fat for that.
They growl and do it on the ground.
Pigs in shit. Bulls in china shops.
They only stop at God. Or rather,
the immobility of meeting God.
Of stopping eternal. Just the thought
makes men throw things in the air—
footballs, rockets, fireworks, fingers.
This is praise. This is tongues men speak
in and about. An explosive theology
of castrated desire. With age,
the ‘dos’ of this and the ‘don’ts’ of that
metastasize to everything till men sit
in the rocking chair, doomed. They know
even the chair is doomed to stop rocking.
He was an admirer
of Kerouac’s liver.
That of Faulkner’s, too.
He dug the penitentiary mind
of Burroughs, all walled-up
behind excuses and denials.
Wanting the fists of Bukowski,
the gonzo of Thompson,
the hunts of Hemingway,
he once attempted to
shave a cactus during a party.
The prickly spines
resemble cheek stubble,
he mused, so logic seemed
to be smiling on his quest
like sun smiles on a
Sunday afternoon party.
It was a Sunday afternoon
as a matter of undisputed fact.
It was sunny. The orange juice
was infused with Russian water.
The air held the sharp end
of the weekend. His pen
was down. His razor was up.
The cactus won handily,
his bloody digits did attest.
A bearded dragon, he called it.
Get my sword, he yelled,
I will slay the mighty beast.
In the hard Monday morning dawn,
after the mind-wet guests had gone
home to wring themselves dry,
the cactus turned out to be just
a thorny rose. Just a mighty red ask
for love, forgiveness, memorial.
In Hollow Bones
Airport baggage handlers
do not speak of guilt.
The metaphor is too
burdensome on the back.
Besides, they know
what is in your bags.
Without even looking
they know what you’ve
stowed: Sex toys on a
business trip. They know why.
Undeclared fruit. They can
almost taste it. Conch shell
from a protected beach.
They can hear the ocean
right through the bag.
And they don’t judge.
They simply move the bag
from conveyor to cart to
plane belly. They leave it
in the belly. Let you carry it.
Let you carry it up
and away. The hollow bones
of a plane filled with you,
take flight. Carry your bags
and your metaphors
somewhere else, they say.
Just not here. We know bags.
The bags don’t stop coming.
Day and night, relentless,
we do not speak of that.