VENAL PERTH BLUES
Venal Perth blues.
No room for arterial red.
I’m trying to get this local universe out of my bed
by spitting sunflower seeds in eclipse at the dead
in memory of her cotyledon splitting in two
like the vulva of a Venus figurine
with her bellyful of a population boom
that peopled my solitude with myriad familiars
that said they knew me once in a previous lifetime.
She was mad.
And she was nude.
And incomprehensible as fire.
And we revelled in each other’s sensuality
like two fudgicles on a hot August afternoon
when we were kids in the gutter
and had better things to do with our tongues than speak.
Such were the depths of absurdity we sank into
not caring who was the sabre-toothed tiger
and who was the starless tar pit of blameless oblivion.
I saw her spirit once under a blacklight
in a friend’s basement apartment
and saw how she greeted life with laughter
like a stranger from her own hometown
relieved to meet someone as crazy as she was
this far from anything they’d ever known before.
She entered a relationship like a demolition derby
and if your heart got bruised in the head on collision
she’d never let you put your hands on her steering wheel again.
And I don’t remember if it was the danger or the pain
that first attracted me to her
but I recall looking through her like a broken windowpane
into a savage mindscape with the biggest full moon
I’d ever howled at in an agony of lust and longing for years.
She was the darkest witch
in a coven of prime-time muses
that got behind everything she was up to
like the night gets behind the seven sisters of the Pleiades.
And at first I thought she was too high up
for the short-lived chimney spark of my voice
to ever reach her at those altitudes
as a sign of intelligent life from a furnace of desire
I was standing in like the ore of the Old Testament
to refine myself like gold from the base metal
of a soul that couldn’t forget where it came from
and wouldn’t turn its back on its own.
I wrote poetry in those days like a dragon in the rain
trying to keep my fire alive
on the lachrymose tinder of the sodden inspirations
that passed through my life like women in distress
until everything I wrote read like an s.o.s.
I sent out like a desperate loveletter
to anyone who was within earshot or not
for the princess to come to the rescue of the dragon.
And she did
once my tongue
got on the same wavelength as hers
like the witching wand of a tuning fork
and hit all the right notes through the three octaves
between lightning and fireflies
and we began to resonate
like the highs and lows of dark energy
in an occult universe whose physics were magic.
And from her point of view
I showed up like the joker
in the middle of a pack of Tarot cards
that didn’t think I was playing with a full deck.
The thirteenth floor was missing on the elevator
and she wasn’t sure she’d get off on me
but tentatively decided I was worth
coming up snake-eyes for
if she went as far as seven come eleven
when she heard that I liked to gamble.
I take great subjective overbidding risks
when my heart is on the table
and it’s winner take all
so how could I fail to fall in love
with any woman who was uncanny enough
to call my bluff and raise the stakes
like candles at a black mass
to purge my luckless soul of heresy?
An auto de fe.
No blood guilt on her hands.
She got into bed like a jihad
in the Court of the Star Chamber
and made love to the cloaked one
as if her holy war were won
long before she ever declared it
like an infidel on her way to confession.
Only as recently as yesterday
she said the apostasy of the flesh
was her profession by choice.
A kind of female crucifixion.
She’d heard a voice.
She was on a mission.
She was falling off her horse
on the way to Damascus
to start another church for sacred prostitutes.
And I said it doesn’t sound like a profession
but a religious calling to me
as she undid all her taboos
to convert me to the error of my ways.
Venal Perth blues.
No room for arterial red.
It’s hard to choose
between the farces of the living
and the legends of the dead
when you’ve lived light years beyond both
and the muse’s memory is beginning to fail
of just how crucial you were once to her fairy-tale.
And in the last twenty minutes
this lady’s changed her hairdo
like an Etruscan shapeshifter
from an Austrian ballroom chandelier
to the decapitated head of Medusa
in the star Al Gol of the constellation of Perseus
and back to a snake pit of downed power lines
expressing enigmatic paradigms of a future
that doesn’t see much for either of us
in the hydra-headed directions
we’re both going in
like the seven extra dimensions
of crazy wisdom we had to forget about
just to feel we belonged here for a while
with everyone else
who were just as lost as us.
But sometimes you’ve got to let go.
You’ve got to lose it
to find your way home alone in the dark.
And I’ve never minded being a lifeboat for somebody
but it’s time to jump ship
like one of a kind
when they start attaching tug boats to me
like an ark that just got out of drydock on the moon.