Fascism is a haircut

Fascism is a haircut
            and a way of staring people down
                        through slit shot eyes.
It's a way of putting
            backspin on language.
Of standing on gray streets
            hands in pockets.
Fascism is fucking
            a dry grunt
                        into a wet hole


for Christine Dolnich
Only truth can make a liar
and only liars sing the truth.
All the mouths truth keeps in hire
delight in truth's sweeping certainty.
I love my truths as the wife beater loves his women.
Eloquent truth blinds whole armies with blonde stuff.
Blonde truth scalpels above the skull of a screaming ape
in stainless light laboratories.
Stainless truth is F.D.S., the mahogany jaw of Von Braun
and the frowning sales of insurance.
Frowning truth is a body bag blind to the wind.
Body bag truth is stuffed with the dried-out dreams
of watery boyhoods.
Poetry truth sings beyond the skull and knows its lie
aint true is magic and falls
from the reptilian womb of a heavenly turtle;
lie, lie, lie like little web‑footed brides
scurrying for the ocean.
True birds swipe from the sky
snacking up each frightened lie.
Delicious heart and liver lies swallowed whole!
Priestly truth is a house with windows and gangster guns.
Surrounded by seeker priests with bullhorn throats
the illusive truth mobster bursts through the door
blasting bolts of maddening laughter.
He lams it to a nearby refinery and climbs
to the top of a huge spherical fuel tank.
Priest fire blows the tank beneath him
and the mobster's lightning bolt laughter
stains the night in shocks of chattering yellow teeth
and his false heart rises in the flames
as a jeweled bird in a flat black night
and there beyond truth and lies a finer fire burns.

Night knocks

Night knocks
at the edge of my eyes,
call the cats home.
My lady’s eyes
are that sleep, that men
can't penetrate.
I stretch on the bed
that morning can't work.

Hollywood heart and a new age smile

Hollywood heart and a new age smile,
he guessed my sign at once.
Aries are easy, he says, as an old woman
with droopy stockings
trombones a chicken bone
in and out of her lips.
Art words fell to the street
like a handful of jaded bells;
Picasso and Corso, Ohara and
Johns, he went
on and on. Yes, went no
and I had to go
cursing the tar boiled streets
and the language of the lights.

Dressed down and fit to kill

Dressed down and fit to kill,
baby’s home in bed and I’m
on 7th Avenue; one bartender
with reference in search
of daily bread
and a pocketful of miracles.
In money bars
women smoke elegant cigarettes
and smoke rises from red red mouths
like the ascending souls
of dying peacocks.
But in low down joints
old faces hover in the dark dank air
and the bar butts cough up clots
of grimy clouds which
ceiling fans shatter.
Flat beer for flat mugs.

Sometimes when turning corners

Sometimes when turning corners
            you catch children in their secret language.
Their breath sounds finer
            than the silver skin of sunlit rivers
                        and their eyes are corners crouching with fear.
These secret mouths and secret ears
            only open for syllables
                        of sunrise and surprise.


He carved his name on pizzeria walls.
He combed his hair with lanolin.
He wore guinea tees.
He wrestled beneath an Autumn oak tree.
He taught me about muscles.
Nicky wore chinos and pointy black shoes.
He loved the neon of Saturday night.
He had James Dean lips and eyes bluer than mine.
His back pocket had a comb and a wallet.
His wallet had a rubber.
I swear to his virginity.
I never loved him. I never loved anything till he died.
Death is the father of love and love is the mother of death.
(On the sofa mom would cry, laugh, cry.
There were coffee and sandwiches.
Everyone wore black and talked about heaven.
I was eight. I thought you might have tricked all of us.
Maybe you'd become a hermit in the woods.
You were running over rivers on rocks with your bow and arrow.
Nicky was a power hitter.
He lifted weights and punched out bullies.
He had a scuba set, a B.B. gun, a color atlas and perpetual laryngitis.
Nicky hunted the fox and at 11 he hitched all the way to upstate New York.
He got a 13-state alarm.
He melted limburger cheese on the school radiator.
(You flew through a window and into a wall
and the cops gathered you with shovels. Your last two
words were, "Oh Shit..."

Rimbaud’s Prayer to The Statue of Vercingetorix

Rimbaud's Prayer to The Statue of Vercingetorix
Blood Father,
Each of my veins has lips for you.
My brain is beaten by your hands through and through.
Blood Father,
My feet are the tenth part of an army.
My spirit burns up from my feet.
Blood Father,
My cock spawns maggots and I am a death father.
Blood Father,
Had your mouth been a reservoir,
I couldn't have swum in the night.
Blood Father,
Your face is carved in stone.
You try to sing, you only moan.
Blood Father,
Your flexing fist within my chest.
My dripping cock can't sing the rest.
Blood Father,
My throat is a drain filled with hair.
I can't sing, I just stare.

In the city of gold

In the city of gold
            mouths droop from the boughs
 and ripe songs fall to the earth
            and sing for thousands of winding miles.
In the city of gold
            every time you open your hands from prayer
                        a golden eagle opens into the night.
In the city of gold
            children follow breadcrumbs into the forest
                        and baying dogs pierce the night.
In the city of gold
            there are only lies
            and truth is fucking up in some other town.

Oration at Rocky Flats: 1980

Oration at Rocky Flats: 1980
When the bombs fall
I'm gonna get my ass in a folding chair
on the Main Street of Heaven.
Main Street's gonna be decked out in blonde bunting
because blonde is the color of the general's love
and the whole world's gonna get a big purple heart.
On that final Memorial Day
French women will cry tears of joy
from the alleys of Heaven      
when the humans come marching home again. Hurrah! Hurrah!
And the mother of Heaven will be working overtime
giving birth to the newly dead
as the world parades through her liberation vulva.
Laughter will spill from the wars of history
and every laugh will fill the streets with happy tears.
There are no coins in Heaven
and the spirit of genius will be folded away
under the tongue of a brilliant gorilla.
Mercy will be a vaudeville joke and we don't need love in Heaven.
Compassion, kindness and honesty
will be antique automobiles in the parade.
We're gonna take it to the streets of Heaven
and everything's gonna be alright!
When the bombs fall
the lion's tooth will brim with bird breath
and the warrior's cock will blossom with flowers
and Gandhi's heart will be a flaming lion.
We're gonna take it to the streets of Heaven
and everything's gonna be alright!
When the bombs fall
the mouth of Hell will eat itself clean
and the smile of Satan will be the shore
of a blessed ocean and the laughing waves
will cough up the hearts of martyrs and tyrants too
as the crowds cheer Jesus giving Satan
a big wet kiss and slapping his old pal on the back.
Satan is a stunt man in Heaven!
The falling bombs are the eggs of Venus descending
and each of us will be maddened sperm on the make
and the black night of history
will fill our frightened ears with blessing
and will unite the bright light of matter shattering energy
with our frowning ignorant broken mouthed tears
and our nighttime heart busted misery tales
will be a laughter from the kind bomb
in a mask of terror.
And we're gonna take our naked down the streets of Heaven!
And we're gonna make it naked down the streets of Heaven!
And we're gonna take it naked to the streets of Heaven!
And everything's gonna be alright!