UNDERGROUND VOICES: POETRY - 01/2012

ROBERT D. LYONS

Symphony, My Sweet Mistress, Kiss Me to Sleep

After I have had my nightcap
Of scotch and a cigarette,
I retreat palely to my unmade bed,
Bloody with the boils from my ass
And the tears of my barren heart.
I turn on the radio,
Drifting peacefully to sleeps paradise submission
In the arms of Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, or Ives,
And I almost feel lonely,
Laying here by myself with the cockroaches who don’t pay rent
Or the typewriter that falls apart with each word.
It doesn’t take long for me to waft off to sleep,
Because as Stravinsky plays,
I realize that this saccharine angelic music
Beats love
Because there are no scars
In the morning.


Mascara, Rouge, Fishnets, and a Poets Love

Katie always used to hang around the keggers,
Outside the door,
Sitting on the green grass
That grows swiftly in exiles isolation.
All the boys,
With beer foaming from their nostrils,
Would rush out to see her,
Even forming lines,
And she would take them beside the dumpster
In the back of the ally,
And give them a fifteen dollar blow job.
Katie was a queen for the three minutes
Of divinity she offered;
She would put your cock on a pedestal:
A true prophet,
A fallen angel,
But after that three minutes,
She was just another whore
Growing with the grass and the leaves,
No matter how much her tongue moved
Like magic.
I saw her lying around,
Took her hand,
And led her into the party.
There was high quality weed
And cheap beer.
She blew a smoke ring that looked like
A halo above her head.
I sat there on the couch with her,
Holding her hand.
I told her that beside the stains,
Her dress was beautiful,
And that there is something honest
In her eyes
That sucks the air from my lungs.
“So, how much?”
I ask her.
“One hundred if you wanna stick it in.”
We polished off a few more beers,
And watched this kid fall down the stairs
In a drunken stupor.
She leans into my arms
And lays there for a moment
Before saying,
“I was only kidding about the one hundred.”
“Oh, how much will it cost me?”
She pulls a cigarette from the front pocket of my flannel shirt,
And when she went to light it,
The flame glowed in her eyes like northern lights,
The honest eyes
That told me everything,
And now I am reduced to nothing.
“Look,” I told her,
“I can’t pay that price again.”
A tear rolls down from her eyes in solitude,
I wipe it off her angelic face
As she smiles at me,
“Sure you can. For me?”
Goddamnit,
I thought,
I should warn people not to bring whores to parties,
I always fall in love with
Them.


Buy Me a Drink, Arthur, Christ Knows We’re in the Same Boat

She always used to take me
To these neon hell dance clubs.
I wouldn’t mind too much because the drinks
Were usually free
And the bass was so loud
That I didn’t have to strike up a conversation about the weather,
Or how the bastard publishers ripped me off again,
With the bartender.
She would always walk up to me,
When the music broke,
And we were shrouded in shared silence,
And say,
“You didn’t see,
Because you were at the bar,
But I danced with this cute hipster
From the community college,
And we danced close.
The reason I didn’t go home with him
Was because he knew I was with you.”
“Thanks,” I told her,
“You’re a real Penelope.”
She was always thinking about sex.
She wanted to be loved,
But no man's love could ever quench her lust.
She carried this longing with her
Like the lime green dildo in her purse.
She was burning at the stake
Like Joan of Arc.
Burning because of the voices and paranoia of neglect
That ran traffic signals through her head.
Burning from her own desire.
She would wear these short cut skirts
And ask if she looked like a whore.
“No, Sweetie,” I would tell her,
“It’s perfectly natural to flaunt what you got.”
“Damn right,
I’m in my prime,
And there is no reason why I can’t model
A bit of leg.”
Even a butcher hadn’t seen legs
Like the ones she modeled.
She stared at every man available
Over breakfast of coffee and cigarettes at the café,
Or lunch of marijuana at the park,
Or diner of martini’s at the clubs.
“I’ve modeled myself after Marilyn Monroe,”
She would tell me,
“And how she’s always running off to the swag joints
To toy with some feeble stud.
I have always admired her power.”
She would vanish at the fine restaurants I would take her to,
And re-appear once the food was cold
To tell me that three men offered to buy her drinks,
Or I would wait to walk her home after school,
And I would wait for an hour
Before she would call and say,
“Sorry, I walked down to the grocery store
With this strange man.
He was walking one way,
And I another,
But I decided to walk with him.
I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.”
I would get onto her,
But she would tell me to stop nagging
And that I was a very jealous man:
I could never stay angry for long.
One day,
She just vanished into her godly little pussy,
And it absorbed her completely.
She was nowhere to be seen.
I would walk from horizon to horizon
Calling her name,
Only to be greeted by the echo of lonesome silence.
She was like a siren
Fading away into the grimy back allies of the damned.
I knew it was still whining,
And crying,
And screaming,
But I could no longer hear it.
On the nights I can’t drink away,
I find myself wondering
Through all the abandoned warehouses,
Factories,
And condos
Of the urban jungle
Just listening,
For anything,
To come to her aid,
But I know that she will just have to find me,
Wherever I am.
I don’t think it will be long now.
I’ve taken up tap dancing,
And I wear a black felt hat down low
Over my right
Eye.


This is what Killed Dylan Thomas

All these women
Promise to come see me,
But they never do.
There’s the one with the long, curly red hair
Who drives the V.W. van to state parks
And sings with the wild birds,
While sparkling in the light piercing through the trees
In a neatly woven summer dress.
There’s another who writes poems
That no-one reads
And texts at three in the morning saying
“I love you.”
The next just got out of the hospital,
And has long scars across her wrists,
And she used to tell me
She loved me.
I still get letters in the mail
From another woman
Who's already almost forgotten.
She used to sleep with my poems on her bed stand:
The narcissistic thought
Gets me hard
And I jack off
In shame.
These are women
With bodies and minds
Deeper than the
Mythical seas of the abyss:
Magical in and out of bed,
But of course,
As dangerous and deadly
As sin.
Why do they have to live so far away?
Are the gods punishing me
With unobtainable temptation?
With my luck,
I know that one day,
Three, four, or five women
Will show up knocking at the door
At the same time.
We will sit around a table and talk,
Our lust confined to sign language
Embedded on our faces, curves, and fingertips,
To brail on their legs,
And then they
Will all walk out
And leave together.
Somebody else will have them,
And I will meander about crossroads
Of lost paths
In flannel pants
And greasy unwashed hair,
Smoking too many cigarettes,
And drinking my love
Away.







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