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Three Poems

Camille Roy

I flew
Suddenly into that deep crack.
No one anywhere all lights out
& the thugs shrieking: their
flushed sadism buds melted by
Through an unlatched door, into a cellar
through smells of rotted vegetables and gasoline,
Chased into an empty world.
Her skin was a raised surface of tiny bumps. A rash, she said. Katarine's big fleshy shoulders rose from the claw foot tub. She was in her nightly bath, steaming up the living room. That was the year Katerine leaned towards me, absorbent, mimicking my gestures, style, my American slang.
(Did I tell her? I don't remember.)
Because my toes were too big. Swatted, stomped.
A year of leaning towards me in agreement
(ice in her throat)
while I hoped something would be recovered.
But Katarine was indifferent
because our association began before criticism.
Now, as minutes push against my body (disintegrate into paper strips)
softly chewing wood pulp
I dream I kiss Kevin Killian.
Over and over, I have sex with the same person
under a blanket of insult.
The toad between my legs
hops & hardly tires me:
Sing, song, slut.
Today I ran into Tucker, on Oak Street. He was going to his Tibetan group. He’s such an imp, for an old thug. He sparkles, it’s the way he talks, jumpy & gymnastic language: I aspire to it. As we were walking down the windy street, past apartments grimy with auto exhaust, he held his hands in that bud shape. “The lotus blooms at night, in swamps and filth,” he told me, batting his eye lashes: this is how a religion inspires love, I thought. So I went to his group. There were hardly any Tibetans but lots of paintings of hell. “Life is hell,” Tucker says, passionately. He would know.
Swirling radiant figures set into fields of degradation & crime... Karma-Krodhisvari is clasping his body with her right arm, her hand around his neck, and in her left she is holding a blood-filled skull to his lips...
I had cramps in my legs, I felt glad when the meditation was over. We went for coffee afterwards at the Starbucks on the corner. Its fuzzy Parisian scenes were scraped with graffiti: ill legiblah lotto, @why.
Poetry is a kind of violence, for me. Spasm as lyricism. I believe in its origin and transformational power. A main purpose of a state is to break down the gang by offering its members something in exchange: rights as a citizen. The Law shines over the herd.
“...Almost all dead.” The handful still alive are incarcerated, except for two: Tucker and one other, who is (of course?) an actor in New York. (I wonder about that actor.)
Tucker is so emotional. When he talks I am in his shoes (BAM BAM BAM). We have some spiritual affinity that’s bloody – genetic. I’m sure we’re related, back in the swarm of old Kentucky days we gnawed on the same bone. Now isn’t that a strange thing to think. I must be in a mood. It’s the methods he told me about. I won’t write them down! They're not the point, anyway. The information hurt my tissues. It came inside, & I couldn’t believe I’d ever imagined all that was not true. Now the air I breathe contains it.
Of course Tucker was practically a kid but that’s not the point either. Work makes the world in exactly this way: it’s our artifact. The thin lines of life and death compose it. Murder is somebody’s job, just not mine.
The Tower Hotel
Two girls in a bed with fog lather.
He hauls them from one piss-in-the-sink hotel to another,
dodging beards etched in crypto-celtic patterns,
the duds of the syndicate.
The boy is an abandoned paint factory.
He tells me they'll leave the city because the girls were threatened.
I know what he means:
Love is a mask applied over discontinuity of moments spent with the same person.
Yet if running away is your state of mind...
doesn’t everything appear to flow away, to a discontinuous mind?
Or edges have a way of making each lose her head…
and the girls are just using him for his grasp.
I know Beanpole never says a word. She’s mute.
The other one is called Little. They’re so cold
in the hallway. Lonnie screams from his mattress
not at them – at us, at everyone.
Fog so heavy the cars in the street
appear to be moving through snow.
Winking pad surfaces
through a raised fabric of blue lights.
That astronaut spent so much money on us –
how could it have been a false indicator?
My beloved says it must have been obvious to me.
To keep her from running away with the truth
I put my finger on her clit, while she’s watching the game.
“May I have your attention, Miss?”
She says I’m tiresome and not funny.
White throats sweetly jagged from a ragged butch knife dull.
I shall be butching thee from nape to rump.

A scribe of “sensual collisions that express the authority of terms”
-- money, butch, whore --
while pulling at a long nipple. Tattoo Blue
digs her fingers into the dancer’s fleshy waist -- red kiss as wide as Kansas
as patches of green
drift from their wallets.
I prefer a part that spits & rolls:
sweet Ramona pumps and sugars the mouth of the logger dyke.
I think if you play softball on a Rec League team
everything else is just a dream.