i know i am a villain now (i come from a country hill)
when i used to think
arriving everywhere let us say ilona carlon-plitt's house
or elizabeth de la rosa
believing myself to be containable against open stretches of summer
always i remember stealing her old david bowie CDs
while her mother and her picked spinach and rhubarb down outside
cutting my wrist on the broken plastic and rubbing the blood on her
later at my dad's house (that was in 96? on the mileground as it was called i also stole bikes and the emblems of cars
as there were at least 6 or 7 used car lots)
i loved her but she was cruel and later i was cruel
as she did not love me
she showed me the flowers she stole from dorsey avenue graveyard
the rain made it smell good there
it lit up the honeysuckle and the wet earth smelled good
and oddly familiar like the smell of any book
we fed each other tulip petals
on top of Price's tomb
and the rain kept coming and she talked about the different pills she had eaten once in Pittsburgh
with some other boy who i hated at once
and then i gave a prophecy, to myself only, petalmeat on my face:
"she will haunt that graveyard better than any ghost
we will find her dress beneath the old virgin statue
and wonder if that woman died a virgin"
but i haven't been back to the graveyard yet so i don't know.
i doubt i'll ever go.
her hispanic/irish lips aren't blowing like tumbleweed there;
her underwear won't whistle in that wet dark.
and Price was always a dead bore.
Is there anything more than this, Adrienne?
If day is piled on day
and even carefully plotted
one day removed at a time
Adrienne, could it collapse the whole arch?
The ferrydiddles chatter in Whitmoore Park even as
their cheeks bulge--
like Botticelli breasts--
and retreat down the fronded gully
towards the reticent birch,
extension towards the sun.
Priapic and sprawled like a whorehouse joke,
and the bark always peeling, always peeling,
like the cooking girls who must have wept
(from the onions).
"Raus, little muskrat:
and the pike seized the wretched stoat."
Adrienne, your golden legs unshaven,
Adrienne, all singing of a goat.
You got away once down Decker's Creek
like a flooded rainbow trout.
The slag and greenglass cutting your toesies.
You got away I didn't know what about.
I was stumped, I just listened to music.
Adrienne tell me, where this wall is going?
Adrienne tell me, why the Reich is falling?
You were Vichy but Roman and tall.
I remember some mumbling, that's all.
Verking on the miletowers.
Milles borne, I fucked your cousin at the tip of the Po,
but you hardly see a lady round here.
We are doing this for the arrogant tits of Roma,
her dugs tumored, as the piebald limestone
"Raus, Verkman, use both hands!"
I remember my name is an honest one.
But I am just here for the Mithril.
So don't cock your Corsican pistol.
My men today would rape you in Calabria,
but let you live.
Stuff you in the boot of a Volkswagen,
huff the fumes,
be us a sybil.
I guarded the hill by the Rhine.
My eyes were an oily black
like Pennsylvanian coal.
You came back tanned, having
fucked every man in Naples,
gargling cum like the head of Orpheus
drowning in the rhythms of the water
as his body bobbed by the dykes.
He took you justly and his wisdom
storms you now.
He shares the river with your aborted roe.
Adrienne, by gosh, where does the next stone go?
Adrienne, by nelly, how far do these fablers throw?
Moses, smell the roses, and tell us by your nose--
How crooked is this ambling arch that grows?
Mothers of mother mary, who shooketh the sea?
At the meeting outside the temple, you serve me green tea.
Men ask after your ethnicity, hazarding Italian,
One day at a time?
I finger a red pebble as you ramble
At the ex-coke head and gambler
With a scorpion tattoo on his foot.
I pull the wrong day, from a series of days,
And sun falls back in the dirt.
When I'm back from hell,
My prettiest bell,
I will wipe my nose on your skirt.
i am streamlined but boxy with a shaven head and black square geek frames.
i don't feel anything yet.
when will i like people in a quiet way?
i'd hate to die.
i don't feel nothing but yawns.
i stay still as i do it.
afterwards i tremble a little.
these are connections.
a lot of people must have done a lot of things.
think about it.
thing about it is:
i never wanted to stop doing anything.
not even the ones that hurt.
i've been around this town for too long.
around the buildings and roads.
i had a prognosis:
do things, it will not seem like forever.
close your eyes at night.
work your holes.
fought some kind of battle.
they all come out the same way.
drink this, cure the cough.
cough it up.
see what happens.
Michael P. Workman was born and raised in Morgantown, West Virginia. He writes sporadically and has been published not recently on other e-zines, such as Duct Tape Press. He hopes that his writings, taken together, will some day exhibit a very full range of sometimes extreme, but always human, experience and emotion. He posts at Salty Dreams Poetry Forums.
Michael P. Workman Lois Marie Harrod Joel Fry Steve Dalachinsky Aldo Tambellini Charles Frederickson Stan Dunn