A History of Love
When we were connected
we developed like an X-ray.
I continually apologized
for those things about me
and believed such things worthwhile.
I decanted a bottle of wine and set about
seducing the truth out of you
and when you got away I promised
a divine plagiarism of sorts
that would weed out the myth
of your vagina. In passing I uttered
comments and then imagined myself
becoming you momentarily
only to find that I was you
as much as a tree trunk was a bead of semen.
Lovingly, you stayed honest the longest.
I was more like a videogame,
light fare, nothing truly astounding
about the way coffee tastes
in Old France, nothing astounding
about the Old Hotel in Chelsea
or the way I fuck quietly,
trying my darndest to communicate
some physicality I can’t understand.
(from Alex Smith’s Lux, p. 77)
When I licked your icy wall—home
A place to fight
When I think before this time,
I sweat instead of breathe
Your light little ankles
Are the twitch in my eye
(Can I lean here?)
Tired in the fifth round,
We hug hard
True love waits without the ring
On mornings, noon, and sometimes nights
Keep the heart unclogged down and right
The gold around his waist,
The redness on his face,
A boxer off the screen
I battle him unseen
(from Amy Lawless’ Noctis Licentia, p. 37)
crippled before the coffin of her Gerald,
her grimace like a ruddy tongue extending
from the television screen and licking your neck.
You would think sorrow
a child’s game until this moment.
Sorrow is men
standing behind you, terrified at your loss.
They rub your back while pain
scrambles out of you like so many marbles
from a fish tank.
This is no act.
Shit like this gets you through your daily
jog, your next blind date.
You throw your ruined clothes
in the yellow hamper.
make idle remarks about
You keep your gun clean.
You see her kneeling at the threshold
every time you close your eyes.
Your patience is a Jesus
who washes the sin
from your body with fine soap
and fresh breath.
(from Alex Smith’s Lux, p. 31)
“They say the owl was a baker’s daughter. Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be.” Ophelia, Hamlet
No! I am not Ophelia.
O yeah, I lay with a crazy
But it was just for one night
Among him as his own
To sing a boding song, wave a tender bone.
I fed the meter, built a bridge,
Grabbed a honey, pumped the midg’.
Alack, the smack of truth.
The prince did insert his fangs into my back
And then, ok, ok, you were right!
It all went black!
But tremble I did not. My father lives
Don’t have a brother and I never will
Let my flesh stink to high heaven
Cover it with a wreath homemade
And expect it to do the job of Glade
(from Amy Lawless’ Noctis Licentia, p. 67)
A bra. Abraham Lincoln. A building. Scaffolding. Scalpel. A car. A card game. A cat. A cat. Ice cream. Ice cream. Ice cream. Ice cream. A cell phone. A chance to be with the kids for the day. A chick flick. A Chihuahua. School. School. School of fish. Schools. Ick – beets! Acne. Acne (damn!). A Cocker Spaniel, please. A collection agent. A companion – a friend. A cooler. A coroner. Scorpion. A cow. Scream! Scrub. C.D. I.D. A Dalmatian. A dam. A date. Addiction – like, addiction to something or you’re addicted. Address. I declare war! I’d have to say decorating. Adjust the seats. I’d like to go with a slang term, so I’m going to go with “drawers.” A doctor. A dog. A dog. A dog. I don’t believe this, but tarot cards. I don’t, but some people might buy alcohol. (from Nathan Austin’s Suvery Says!, p. 15)
Let paper fly
and light the cross-hair
Let gas sink
from weight and let
this day remind us
of what was at stake
before we both quit
began exploring each
the day yours went cold
was like the day I will die
like the day this field is cleared
of these straight soldiers
They’ll drop their guns
and scream “We don’t trust.
We anymore trust!”
(from Alex Smith’s Lux, p. 49)
It took hours to get into Franklin Park
Hundreds of mammals wait in line to see more mammals
But I stroll to the busy peacocks plumes always in bloom
To the courtyard where the sun tears through the trees confidently
The zookeeper holds a hose spraying the boycocks and girlcocks just for fun
Drenching my hair before he even recognizes me
Among the other physiologically exuberant birds
(from Amy Lawless’ Noctis Licentia, p. 25)