Making Love to Russian Music
"mantra-no one has been hurt,
no one has been killed"
-- C.D. Wright
"Asperity" he said,
the word stuck
between them as
they lay, not talking,
side by side on the bed,
naked as the lovers
they once were,
"Asperity contains us-
a bitter fruit of longing,"
he said, staring at
the cracked ceiling,
flecks of light on
the painted dark,
listening to the clock radio,
"An aching distilled from silence"
lying still as false hopes of elation,
joy, amassing as a passion,
drawn and quartered into
blunted notes, the mute
terror of their sudden
embracing, a fourth movement
of the Pathetique, their distressed
flesh swept together, prone above
a shattered bank.
Feet seem to be saying:
We have come so far it is over."
-- Sylvia Plath
Lovers traced the white scars
on her body but knew better than
to ask how she acquired them.
Discarded torn black t-shirt
spelled her life to date in red
letters, "Born Poor and Brought
Up Hard." If she had been pretty
once it had been beaten out of her
by professionals, masters of hurt
with broken knuckles and whipsaw
tongues they used on naked flesh
like razor blades to open wounds
they would not allow to heal.
Escape was a possibility she was
never allowed to entertain,
became a wildness in her that she
would learn to express with broken beer
bottles and homemade shivs that
found homes in vital organs inflicting
fatal wounds in those who had done
her harm. On the street, years later,
the wildness in her remained,
as a wicked passion, insatiable and
expressive as pain, as violet as white
lightning in a cracking-along-the-edges
jars waiting to be partaken of, to be sipped,
where lips and fire meet.
Living the Dream
After Power Point presentation
in hotel lounge playing the macho
fool for the ladies, wedding ring impression
clearly visible to all who care to look,
jejune banter endless fascinating to
the all night, pay-as-you-go girls,
for whom all pick up lines are as fresh
as yesterday's beside-the-road-kill.
A couple of intimate drinks in low light
lounge, she looks like a goddess in
high heels, ready to rock and roll with
room service libations and pay per view
porn, so willing and available no price
mentioned or discussed, he thinks he is
the luckiest of God's creatures scoring big
on good looks and charm, one night away
from heaven on a half-shell, though his reality
has a stomach pump in it, an overdose
administered while he is in the head,
room ransacked by professionals, anything
of value long gone, not even the lingering
scent of hundred dollar an ounce perfume
Alan Catlin has published over fifty chapbooks and full length books of poetry. His next chapbook is Beautiful Mutants from Night Ballet Press.