1. AL’s Poems to CW

April 30, 2018

Anesthetize or Live?

Anesthetize,

Says the Amazon Prime.

The Netflix.

Twitter,

Screens and devices,

I hide behind

To forget

Who I am.

 

A yawning pit of grief

Shaped like a waif

Needing no love

But the dead.

 

My dead domestic partner

As the Angel of Death

In her black veiled hat

Red lipstick

Black Louis Verdad bridal gown.

Coming to my bedside

When it’s my time.

 

Or am I a disease whore?

Says the crusted herpes sore

On my lip

Big as a dime

Keeping me penned inside

With morbid fantasies,

TV of famed Royals fake.

 

Then a charming Brit

Ruled by royal families real

With their own scandals ripe

Requests poetry across an ocean

So I reply with what is.

 

Here in America,

A train wreck shitshow

Run by a megalomaniac cheeto

Every day lurching closer

To civil war.

 

The Business of Writing

The business of writing

Is much more of barter

Of who knows who

Doing favors for who

Has done you a solid in the past.

I know that trade

Like rough trade.

 

Because it was the same once

Twenty years ago

In bathrooms of nightclubs

With key bumps of cocaine.

I learned that language of trade

In sequin tube tops

And high heeled boots.

 

Back then we lived on bar time

Lived on lost time.

Left our houses at midnight

Like vampire bats

Psychic vampires all around.

 

I traded that life in

Reinvented the club slut

Into an imposter writer

Who submits essays

To be rejected,

Reads to empty rooms.,

Writes for online magazines

Anthologies no one reads.

 

Now that I am old and sober.

Drinking cold coffee.

At an afterparty

So elite and exclusive

The only other guest is my cat.

 

I spent five years hungry

For all the cocaine in the world.

Ten years hungry

To make my mark on history.

I got a Wikipedia entry

After eleven years of trying

Thought it was my apotheosis

The heavens opening

Bells ringing

The music of angels.

My Wikipedia was deleted.

So I gave up.

 

Now I hunger only for the diamonds

I have on my finger

The wedding ring my dead wife

Gave me when she proposed.

Now that she is dead.

I wear it to remember her.

To signal others I am taken.

 

She who turned me from coke whore

To literary lesbian

Along with the CalArts MFA Program

Who workshopped that hot mess

Painfully into a shape

More fitting for readings,

Bios, AWP and Submittable.

 

Yet I will never

Be enough.

No publications,

None of it will ever

Be enough.

To fill that void of pain.

I have stopped trying

For more

Knowing this is as good

As it gets.

 

My dreams are all dead now.

I’ll never get what I wanted.

I lost my true love forever.

I have a house full of finery

And no soul.

 

I have giving up on wanting

I subsist and waste away.

The business of writing

Is ambition destroyed.