I was so strong at one time
that I rigged a pitching machine
to hurl two fastballs at me top speed,
one after the other,
and with a bat in each hand
I could hit one over the left field fence,
the other over the right field fence,
while standing squarely on home plate.
I could swing with ease,
I could swing with grace,
and I could swing those hips.
And with a bat in each hand.,
I impressed a girl so much at one time
that she smeared black and gold streaks on her cheeks
and just glared at me with a pout and a leer
to get my attention.
And after I grabbed her by the neck,
we made mad love in the hallway,
not even halfway to the bathroom,
and got our sweaty bodies kicked out of the bar.
This during Derby week in Louisville,
all hotels being full to capacity
so we flitted between all the wedding receptions,
ate all that food, drank all that free booze,
and fucked each other raw in all those hatcheck rooms.
The breakup months later was almost as frantic.
I got so drunk I slid down a wall,
stripped an extension cord beneath me
and almost electrocuted myself
when I was incapable of preventing my bulk
from leaning against the prongs still stuck in the wall socket.
She took my bats,
smashed every window of my car,
and shaved her head into a crooked mohawk.
She was ambidextrous if not dexterous.
When I attempted to talk to her,
she declared herself a lesbian
at a wine and cheese art auction,
broke into a crying jagged fit
then pretended to kiss me
but bit into my lower lip
and would not dislodge,
severing a nerve and branding me
with this discolored scar underneath my mouth
which used to be much more conspicuous,
more worthy of the cause celebre.
Now, as witnessed, I tell the truth
about my Stallone droop.
A sucker punch fastball used to be my best excuse.
Now, as confessed, as evinced,
I watch baseball from the nosebleed seats,
a fat and bloated slumgullion,
indistinguishable from everyone else,
a ninnyhammer with a stammer,
with nary a groatsworth of strength.
My vitality has lost all luster
and this along with a seed of mustard
will take me to my grave.
I don’t know what happened to her.
I honestly don’t know.
She does not appear online
on any social networking sites.
She is diaphanous without surname.
I heard she married a dentist,
moved to Denver
and indulged in her oral fixations.
She might have kept her threat
on becoming Canadian
since the Republicans have kept on winning elections.
She had this fantasy of opening a ballet school
and dancing with the kids by the Caribbean sea.
I know what happened to me.
Rapscallion, I waste my time
in a cluttered studio apartment
shuffling around constipated
between telephone, refrigerator,
sagging futon, and toilet.
My bellybutton protrudes
and hurts, feels unyielding
and hard, an orange golf ball
driven into pimpled sourdough.
I think about her when I gargle
and swallow a bit of mint.
Her dazzling bleached smile
is a travel brochure
to places I’ll never revisit
except in those windblown
pages in my mind,
those deep sighs
while sitting on the can
trying to take a shit.
Yes, today and everyday,
which all qualify as these days,
these days my greatest desire
is the relief accompanied
by my decreasing ability
Ah pasha ah harem square,
I’ll kill the chanticleer
and serve him midday steaming.
Bribe me every Sunday
but stop the sirocco
billowing through this body.
Acquit me of all decency
and convict me, please.
All that is eradicable
will not extirpate
from deep inside
This is well on its way to an epitaph, a mausoleum built word by word as if brick by brick to this man’s midlife or later crisis…his depression is there in his negative preoccupations but you managed to capture well the recklessness of the two lovers both famous and infamous with the details of how they did everything halfway or both ways, neither ever able to stick with one way and out of danger.
Thank you Ariel. I hope to write more about Glimfire and Raspcallion in the coming months.
This is an intruiging and harshly amusing work. Im rarely drawn into longer narratives but this was well constructed and flowed well.
Thank you Rajean. I played around with stanza structure. The poem was first written in short paragraphs. But then I decided to add scansion. So then in order to do that I had to limit the length of the lines. After the lines were fixed then I went back to stanzas. My friend David Wheeler will add music to this. Glimfire and Raspcallion will be recurring characters in a few more poems.
Rereading this, a few years later, gives new gifts and reminders. My fave line, and a fave amkng faves of all time, is “She was ambixterous if not dexterous”…and which I just realized could be a contemp pun on Dexter and the nature of psychopaths. Since reading this the first time, I have also electrocuted myself on severed tongs sticking out of an outlet, and identify with the mint now, since accidentally inhaling a Crest white strip during a spontaneous liplock, ha.