Hope and I were in a rut, a well-lubed groove
of regression into primal ape-shit hump
and bump in the back of the Cadillac, I remember
when I could afford the gas to make this baby
hum, she purrs in my ear, whispers, lick here,
tongue dry as a dollar bill I’d been swilling
the grind of nine to five eating out of a well fucked
trough, how much is this gonna’ cost I ask
and she grins back in her best come hither
slither, how much you got?
Pockets full of spent ideals and used rubber
wrappers from deals gone sour I scour my
soul to find a few notes to pass onto Hope
but I’m flat out broke, scared to tell her so
I give it one more go as she moans nice
and low, a V8 rumble vibrating through
the coils and carburetors of this capitalist
dream, a glory to behold in her brighter
days swaying with chromed grins and glinting
in the sun, but here in the alley
night and the god’s twilight, she’s a sad rusty
wreck in the spasms of decline and I’m trying not to look
her in the face, run mascara and torn stocking
thighs, high on cheap verse and loose for the killing
I grind and grind and grind till we’re both sandpaper
sore and she whispers, no more baby, no more,
just go and let me die slow inside the beast
of better days, go on your way,
so I leave her there still blue balled and low
souled as my shoes, having just fucked the words
out of Hope, there was nothing left to do but drink
off the next decade shacked up with Faith in the flat
above the corner shop mopping up all the spilled
goo she’d let me get through, always believing
I’d change and find a way to be a better man
standing knee deep in the waste of everything,
HOW I’d scream through the screen door, HOW,
when this town is burning and the god’s are fiddling,
but dutifully she’d go down till the sounds of decline
were drowned out by her good natured slurping
and all would be forgotten in the hummer of her lips
on mine, in times like these, there’s nothing left
to do but spend a night writing squiggles of jizz inside
Faith and giving up Hope, wishing for a date with Oblivion.
—after Karel Appel’s Window
Open, wind sings songs according to morning’s mood
and noon’s affection leading to dusky romance,
hugging the petals of local love symbols.
Outside, pain stands and sits and lies
according to the bodies blending with rational
occurrences, the lens of house eyes, blindfolded often
by floor-length draperies guarding rug from sun
witnesses what the human deemphasizes. Nowhere
exists language definition of glassed slates
man has declared window, until these creations
label self as conduits, abstract conceptual hearsay
to the unbelieving naysayers
prodding society to understanding less empirical awareness
than day’s prior revelations.
Painters’ Exhalations 106
—after Max Beckmann’s The Acrobat on the Trapeze
from land’s preconceived
alarmists describe air dancing
within the swinging scope disengaged from ground
entertaining, dangerous. Danger is entertaining
states a culture desensitized, rubbed clean of emotional material.
Empathy is the hand labeling dead end roads.
awaiting fall or appropriate flips of unusual strength
smiles a blossom scenting the crowd oblivious among
this form of human.
Painters’ Exhalations 107
—after Patrick Caulfield’s The Letter
The letter cannot be written with an altered hand
delusion of self entering self
sliding into unfamiliar
nests a home resembles briefly
The letter is extinct.
Cursive strokes a ballet rendition has lost its audience.
Only few, the hiding, the absolute in provisional era
contains spontaneity, ability to conjure emotion for another
appropriating expression with hand tools into the silken gifts
of carried envelopes.
Felino Soriano (California) is a case manager working with developmentally and physically disabled adults. He is the editor of the online journal, Counterexample Poetics, www.counterexamplepoetics.com, which focuses on International interpretations of experimental poetry, art, and photography. He is the author of three chapbooks Exhibits Require Understanding Open Eyes (Trainwreck Press, 2008), Feeling Through Mirages (Shadow Archer
Press, 2008), Abstract Appearance Reaching Toward the Absolute (Trainwreck Press, 2009) and an e-book Among the Interrogated (BlazeVOX [books], 2008). The juxtaposition of his philosophical studies with his love of classic and avant-garde jazz explains his poetic motivation. Website: www.felinosoriano.com
Second date. And in a few demeaning minutes I’m hard. Lights flickering seething green glass. Our rhythms would fit. Not like the last pitiful little shit. Leaving her alone at the bar while he slung congealed bog roll in the toilets. As my Zen master once said:
‘the tiny can be tiring.’
His calm voice radiates present-time, shaking the dust out of my head. She smiles radiant. Elegiac. Taking her to this budget-style franchise? I need to beg for forgiveness. I pull my gaze away from her breasts. Suddenly, I remember seeing a man on a TV documentary who had been castrated voluntarily.
He said he had never felt so free.
phil walks into the bookshop,
picks up a mag from a shelf.
I tell a work colleague near me:
‘that guy is a hell guitarist!’
he looks at phil –
phil’s head is thin and withered-looking
his hands look tired and weak
his back is shaped like a banana
time appears not to have treated him that well.
my work colleague looks at me like I’m a fucking nut.
i tell my work colleague
to place a guitar between phil’s hands
and give him some space…
his head will snap upright
his hands will attend to the strings like they would a lover’s back
and he will sing the blues
in a style
and in a way
that only rare, gifted bastards do.