the last sin
  pale ashen sky
a bleary eye
clouds of recurring screams...
i am a zoo
  an octopus leviathan
tentacles into an ocean
of unformed emotions...
syphilis and love  
  syphilitic pall
stifles the clear blue
i contort...
shell and pearl
  amidst highs and lows
in life's ocean flows
a shell peony-mouthed...
i am an unmarried mother
  fed on stings
of barbed milk morality
my child-plankton...
the lovers
  cell upon cell
bridge of their union
hung on the pillars...
  ogre of age
and time cavil
at a warm picture...
the young today
  innocence thaws
at the altar
of ambition...

last night i was reading Bukowski

last night i was reading Bukowski’s
Dangling in the Tournefortia
wonder how a guy so alcoholic
debauch and so very gross
churned out poems
that tell gut spilling stories
of lowlife bereft of grace
or shine or apology
he would often offend my sensibilities
and insult my intelligence
but there’s no getting away
from the primal force
of his lexicon

in the drunk driver's class
assigned there by division 63
we are given tiny yellow pencils
to take a test

i want to paint the sky yellow
then take a fountain pen
the age of pencil is over
with a leaky golden tip
and doodle across it
impressionistic strokes
blue on yellow
that make a virtue out of chaos
these days
my mind is a mine
of regularly straying thoughts

the class begins again
it is discovered that I am
the only one to have gotten
100 percent on the test

there’s a method
in their wanderings
my head spins
and my fingers itch to type
i want to paint the sky yellow
i want to smear it
with the messy brush
of hastily assembled
sometimes silly words
yearning to coalesce
a poem

I slouch back in my chair
with my dark shades on
I am the class


22 August 2006

Italicised excerpts from Night School
from Charles Bukowski’s Dangling in the Tournefortia