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    Prostitutes and other sad angels

    Prayer for the Death of a Grandfather

    He came from the dysfunctional side of the human family.
    So…he was dysfunctional.
    She came from a small tribe. So it was not about the money.
    She was fed up with him…being fed up…about the war.

    Medication and quitting helped him survive
    the death of fall…and rumors of another ice age.
    Children, the beast of pray and a 1,000 lovers helped her…go on forgetting
    medication and quitting…helped him at all…replace her laughter.

    Like any coward…he wanted to blame everyone
    but who was responsible…for his inevitable train wreck.
    So she offered to translate his poetry…so it would rhyme for the world.
    Here is a test. You can begin…with this apology to your daughter by the unsavable:

    Don’t take the unforgivable so personal.
    Forgive him as easily or as hard as you would anyone who hungers
    for life when they felt they were dieing in the beauty of childhood
    as the smallest of the ugly and unlovable.

    Despite all his cruelty…between his circumcision and death.
    Despite all his blood letting…between the diseases of the mind and the cures of his soul.
    But most of all…because your mother believed his story…I want her more now than ever before…to believe what he knows.
    For me it will never be an easy prayer to undue pain in the here and now by saying…good-by forever.


    For Sophie

    Without her consent
    he swore to tell her everything,
    the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    Therefore he grew as boring and as dangerous
    …as the Geneva Convention.
    After all he never meant to imply…he would be easy…to love.


    On the pages of some Holy Book…from long ago is the following inscription:

    Stolen especially for Maid Marion
    who never understood Robin
    who never understood himself the hungry…can steal.


    A Street Called Berlin

    I remember a knock once at the door of an old lover…who I lost.
    It was a dark time I want to forget
    carrying a child through the streets of Sodom
    only to arrive late trying to break into the room
    she had for anyone…but an infant boy.

    In those days like today it was a typical Inn.
    The owner was well protected…by guards.
    So I tried even the magic of begging…for love
    which leads me to the question…why
    do you think by saying my name was Joseph
    would it have given my family…a place to rest?

    Do lies work better than prayer…
    like years later when it was all in a typical days work
    to trade stolen goods in Gomorrah…for medicine…for another child.


    Death of an Elder

    Some elders have a right to know.
    Some are not that profound.
    And for some…even teaching
    obscenities and profanities to innocence
    is not one of their charms.

    So by the time he returned
    to the real world…he began
    to rewrite this story to himself:

    Once upon a time
    he could have been happy
    with almonds and flowers…and her.
    But he expected too much
    because he wanted too little.

    So as the funeral party moved on
    a new lover tried to laugh and dance
    at the music of these lines:
    from flesh to flesh
    from ashes to ashes
    now she will never find you…hiding here.


    I was there at the scourging
    and remember the Crown of an Iron Age
    pressed upon the brow.
    There…bound in leather
    in robes…moist with agony
    they reminded the defeated lover
    what a slut and good fuck…the virgin is.

    I know…I’ve heard the argument before:
    the world knows nothing of him
    therefore he knows nothing…of the Earth
    or the obscenity of crusades.

    For that reason I understand this crucifixion:
    it is Lucifer he wages war with
    and follows…and leads each fallen angel
    from the prisons of hell…against the thrown of heaven.

    After all let’s not pretend the father…is innocent of evil
    for it was not born in the garden
    not that kind…of hatred.
    And even demons have their plan
    in protecting martyrs
    from your un-scarred body.

    So do not tell me of blasphemy
    not when the pure of heart have known
    mutilation and despair
    and a deity so unmoved by prayer…it is frightening.

    Now, let the ashes of my corpse terrorize you
    in spite of him…in spite of her
    in spite of the crimes of a forsaken messiah
    I have chosen sides and swear
    I remain forever at war…with your God!

    The Abortion

    On the day you kept the rabbi from celebrating the bris
    and the priest from performing the christening
    the angels ceased to dance.

    Now I give you these truths as evidence of my agony:
    The womb is not so miraculous
    as the lost mind…that gave birth
    to the infants laughter.
    The tabernacle is not so sacred
    as the heart…that conceived
    the fetal yearnings.
    And nine full moons is not as long
    as each day…I dream the child into life
    and forever from my embrace.

    My heartache will not heal; your innocence will not return.
    For I have this scar you left as a memory…of your love.


    I remember as a child
    the woods
    and even
    farther away
    where the rainbow
    promised to touch the Earth
    and the side of a hill
    and the birds who lived there.

    We picked blueberries then
    and swept a path through the green jungle
    vowing to never reveal
    the secrets
    we’ve now forgotten.


    Death of an Elder

    Some elders have a right to know.
    Some are not that profound.
    And for some…even teaching
    obscenities and profanities to innocence
    is not one of their charms.

    So by the time he returned
    to the real world…he began
    to rewrite this story to himself:

    Once upon a time
    he could have been happy
    with almonds and flowers…and her.
    But he expected too much
    because he wanted too little.

    So as the funeral party moved on
    a new lover tried to laugh and dance
    at the music of these lines:
    From flesh to flesh
    from ashes to ashes
    now she will never find you…hiding here.


    It’s easier to talk in the third person
    to tell you what I know about him.

    He was upset…with you
    with the empty bed
    and with himself.

    That is why he left
    the phone off the hook
    to warn you
    of his anger
    and his wounded vanity
    …and his phobia of phones.

    And that is the most important thing I can tell you.
    He is not proud
    he can not abandon his hatred
    …even for the wrong reasons.

    If you knew him better
    you’d understand
    at 11:00 p.m.
    he wanted to call
    to torment you
    with the love
    of his tormented heart.

    But the man is no fool.
    He was wise enough to know
    he did not want to know
    …it was already too late.


    For Stephen…who doesn’t want to know me

    You don’t really know this but had I pressed the matter
    I could have easily slept with your wife.

    It wasn’t easy not to.
    For me
    she smelled more of the earth than of raw vegetables.
    She was well trained in Jewish lore
    She knew everything about Rodin’s mistresses and
    she loved Michelangelo.

    This is a warning: Don’t let her out of your sight.
    I can tell you from past experience
    some wives
    …are easy to misplace.

    I never saw you in Tina min Square
    or St. Peters-burg
    or in the other prisons
    in Washington D.C.

    I never saw you inhaling
    tear gas in Paris
    or in flames in Saigon
    and in a hundred thousand
    other cities and times
    I never caught you…stealing
    because you were hungry
    or naked
    or hunted
    or wanted to share
    a lost mind.

    So do not tell me of love or freedom
    and how to wage war
    and especially do not tell me
    how to protect children.

    Halfway between the Pentagon and the clinic
    my suicide note began
    far earlier
    on the road to Dachau
    or was it Syracuse
    or Front St.
    that reminds me…I have no family.

    I am only here to warn you
    the last of the hippies

    …is still alive.


    Lucifer, I could have loved you
    more once when you wore the tiara…at the Cyber Cafe.
    But now you have the coveted crown…of loneliness to wear
    so wear it wear it well…it becomes you.
    Because hell is empty and Satan is gone…leaving you only
    a thousand dollar phone bill and a wardrobe of chastity belts
    each one colder than the last.

    And where is Satan? Satan is lost…and in a lonelier place still.
    Satan is in the nakedness of Limbo…and in the terror of wondering…with hopelessness
    if he is the Messiah…or the Antichrist
    or only in the agony of knowing he is loosing his mind forever…again.
    And you want to go there with him…but you can’t
    because you can’t hear his heart scream:
    When can I come home…from the war against hate?
    And can I ever come home…from the war against love?

    So how did you think I would cum…and my kisses taste
    when you took your phone from the hook and changed your address in a night?
    Did you expect me to rest in peace…on the laurels
    of yesterdays…dead poems?
    And where were you…when Nature’s arms opened up
    and a forsaken man cried out:
    I have no scars. I can’t walk on water. I can’t change water into wine.
    I can’t be him.

    And I wonder…are you jealous of her now…when she whispered then:
    That’s the way it’s suppose to be.
    Because you have long legs and beauty and your breasts and thighs
    are willing to be touched.
    But is Venus still in heaven? Because Cupid is gone too
    leaving her only…the dream of New York and holding hands
    …in Harlem.

    And sometimes I too forget…what ever happened
    to the beauty of phone sex
    and the beauty…I never knew in Spokane
    who no doubt is already in the arms of another
    trading in golden locks
    for a more virginal phone number
    than the one she lured me in with.

    After all wasn’t the music of my poetry…as good and angry
    as Patchable and Marilyn Manson
    Or didn’t you like the conversations
    and being welcomed to Limbo, my love,
    and the War against War
    where I’m still not sure…you were ever as nude
    “…as the young and the hopeless.”


    The Pretty Prostitute

    Like Magdalene before her and the angels after her
    she was aging…and on the other side…of expensive.
    We collided, during a sick age…in a sick place;
    I, with my delusions of grandeur…and she, with stories of torture.
    There were wives there then…who argued in favor of damnation
    for the whores of the day…and the whores of the night.
    My whore was silent… so I argued…in favor of lovers.

    It was useless…so to spite them…we shared cigarettes…and coffee
    and holding hands…and an embrace
    but a price was never agreed upon
    for love…or dinner…or a picnic in the sun…and then she was gone.
    Afterwords…by way of the streets…I found the address she gave me
    and was invited…into her asylum.
    So we talked again and embraced…and then in only moments
    I too was gone.
    I heard that day by means of the sick age and the sick place
    she found my flowers and candy and music…unimpressive
    so they ceased.

    Later on…I came back to our meeting place…as I often do
    for days or weeks or months or even longer
    only to discover…she was already there waiting for me.
    She discovered…I hadn’t changed…but I had by way of money
    more stories now..of torture and pain.
    She had the unfortunate type of misery
    that did not like…that much company.

    I remember…by morning this time
    we were no longer holding hands
    and by coffee…we were no longer talking
    and even my coins had stopped impressing her.
    What I do not remember…was why
    she did not argue…when I said good-by
    and made the cruel suggestion…that she have a good life.

    It was a long time later…at a new meeting place
    where my long lost whore discovered
    I was still waiting for her and when I heard her say,
    “You’ve changed.” I realized…she hadn’t.
    She was still beautiful.
    As for whether she was diseased
    there are cures for some kinds of crimes
    but there is no cure
    for never knowing…if I was only…a one night stand.


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