THE SMELL OF MY BODY IS SWEETER THAN BACON TO ME
The smell of my body is sweeter than bacon to me
like walking into a room and recognizing an old friend
by the smell of his armpits. OK. Cachet. Odiferous.
It’s my side of the bed. My pillow. Saturated
like a salt lick with the fragrance of my hair.
How many nights have I drooled my dreams away here?
Went to bed expecting black swans and woke up to pigeons.
To poultry. To pheasants being murdered on a pheasant farm
to grace the tables of Paris, the hats of Berlin,
Robin Hood, Shakespeare’s pen, with plumage?
Do glaciers have skidmarks on their underpants when they die?
Runic striations, tree rings, shit scars? Doctor’s tomorrow.
I’ll take a bath tonight in the stars. Old spice pure sport.
I’ll put a tie and suit on my smell. Or a crease in my jeans.
I’ll have my catcher’s mitt reeking of rose. I’ll put
a clothes peg on everybody’s nose like I’m hanging
laundry on the line, or pinatas of killer bees
like Christmas decorations I’m hanging from Christmas trees.
Sea breeze my skull and crossbones.
Virgo. Supposed to be clean. I want to be groomed for bad news.
Just in case. Just in case. Just in case an emergency fire ax
tells me I’m going to rot. In the meantime
I take a good whiff of the sunset I am, crepusclar smell,
and I swear there’s something sometimes, in the duff
and detritus, the xylem and the phloem, the flotsam and jetsam,
see what I mean, twins again, in the fragrance of being
that makes the compost sweeter than the flowers
it’s being spread upon. Smell’s a fingerprint
of the labyrinth in my nose. Trust your instincts.
Or it’s a shameful waste of good pheromones.
Think I’ll make a waterclock of burnt-out half cut
whiskey barrel armpits and sell it to the town
for them to plant coleus and petunias in along the sidewalks
to show the tourists we’re bumpkins with style.
We smell like apple piety. Our bread stinks like a butter urn
in a bonnet with a blue ribbon. My dad designed
the package somebody told me a long time ago.
But it was margarine. Rank. No thanks. Let’s keep it clean.
I don’t ever want to smell him released from jail again
after a diarhettic drunk. What runs from my mouth
when it does is enough. Maybe I should get a rheostat.
Or a monostome that shits out of the same mouth it eats with
like a politician. You want to wash filth and blood
off your skin today you don’t use water you use a spin doctor
with wind power. Solar will do. Blazing is a kind of blindness.
This is the way I used to write when I was sixteen.
I’m looping again. Goofy planet. Everything is. It’s
daunting as handcuffs of rain. But I think it’s great I might
be getting a conditional discharge, a summery summary,
or absolute, between the first and last crescents of the moon. All of life is in
parentheses. Where’d ya get those crowns? Her teeth are stars,
they come out at night, ha, ha, see, I think I just lost
a couple of years more? But it’s always amused me somehow
to think about it and giggle about what we’re not
ever going to be again, once, once, once, here comes Rilke
all over again. Amazing man, talk about class.
A little fiercely German for me. Neitzsche scares me too.
But wow what a man, I mean it. Mongol bows
with an encore. Deadly child enthroned on the moon
lonely as a lighthouse. I would have been your friend.
I would’ve understood feeling like a funeral home
for aristocracy. But I’m not half the matador you are
when it comes to roses. I do deadly nightshade and mariposes.
And, man, you should see what I can do with a waterlily
when it fires me up like stars. Rope tricks with
the most beautiful evenings on earth I’ve ever spent.
You may be a merman but you’re not a metrosexual.
Keep your eye on that lily in his hand when
he was practising dying in Vienna. Look real close.
Real close. That street globe of a lily meant something even
way back then. I think there’s a crystal skull underneath it
that punishes you like a Medusan jellyfish for letting
you see things like a knife on an altar that doesn’t know
what you’re being sacrificed for but it’s got it to mean something
if it’s going this far, but I don’t want to hear about it.
Buddha Pinocchio. The more he tells the truth,
the longer his nose grows. But I’m not lying about anything.
I’m trying to be real, real, real clear about everything,
cross my crossbones with a confederate X of stars.
There might be some redemption in it I’ve overlooked.
I’m a union man. Workers and officers. Don’t even
go there. It’ll start a fight. Wrong is wrong. Right is right.
I’m enough of a mystic by now to know. A journey man.
Nightwatchman on the moon in a grave yard shift.
Dark, dark, dark, they all go into the dark, but, man,
could that banker write. But you’re a lot more deadlier.
Seductive child. Wounded by the mirrors of the mysterious
as if you had to have thorns on your roses,
or it didn’t count. You weren’t really in the bullring
with the moon or the roses with no one keeping count
of the moonsets you were made of when you were being yourself.
Praise. That’s it, praise. Whether you’re spitting in the eyes
of something like a righteous cobra, or the Taliban,
or looking at willows with cold-hearted stars in their hair
along a river I’m beginning to feel like a sentry
for a waterclock in the grove of Diana, tick tock tick tock
with a little sword in my hand. Who goes there? I’m an alarm clock.
And I’m going to comb my hair with a comet or two.
Skulls like to look good, too. That’s a joke. For etymologists. Ha, ha.