Thursday, January 21, 2010

Talker (Poem)

I've had this one done for a bit, but I thought I'd let it age before I posted for feedback. And any you're willing to offer is welcome.

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Talker
(On Self Portrait at 33 [One Good Eye])

Face raucous enough in your canvas ballyhoo
to provoke a double-take--first look, you're
Dorian Gray; second, Adam intent on counting
his steps from the Fall, adding Eve, then
dividing by desire--you've solicited my sympathies.

So I slip you two bits, slip into your carnival
of flesh. But that's a bit redundant, isn't it?
Add carne (meat, flesh) to levare (lift, raise).
And I slip into your raising of flesh of
flesh. Doubled flesh. Flesh multiplied

in the yeasty cones of your one good eye as you
watch me slide into etymology's tent. Watch me
work my tongue from my aisle seat, feet raised
on the anapest's back, meter running in this cab
of a tent of a portrait of a poem

as you mime a forgettable death center stage. But
let's lay theatrics aside. Leave the carnival.
Go nurse back desire with a pint of oils and ink
in that pub of a future down the way. Let the flesh
slip slowly away like the sight in your other eye.

The one I can't help staring at, though that must
make you uncomfortable. So you insert
an awkward pause while you blink/I blink/you blink
and my fate wells up in your awkward bulb, then falls.
Past Dorian's sins. Adam's OCD. Past the folds of your

canvas skin. Into the spirits you poured today to keep
your brushes clear as they wave like seer-stones
across your Ouija board of a palette, conjuring Eve
from the rib you have buried beneath that gaze.
From the solace of scars raised like ballyhoo

from the serpent's garden carnival.