Friday, January 06, 2006

Frightning Lightning

You'dve run first, if you had Icarus' nerve,
but you're good, your radar's on a hair trigger;

when you waltz through a door,
all your wet eyes look for
is the other way out

and the best, biggest earth
to scorch under your bare running feet.

Thunder harrumphs at a stepparent's distance,
but lightning strikes like God's own matches,

one bolt at a time,
sort of like my damaged wings do,

as soon as Icarus' nerve breaks
and I make up some fairy tale
to justify my latest flight.

Copyright (c.) 2009 by Adam Henry Carriere. All Rights Reserved.


My vision has been restored
by salmon, caviar, and orgasm
while my talking hand exults
at new pictures to write
and additional stories to paint.

This is the price of loneliness,
paid in full, somewhere
between being lost
in fluorescent alleys and
recently-hatched birds' nests.

With stark hills and well-armed children
watching me nearby, I remember honeyed
wisdom of Nubian queens and know
the real value of the silk I wear
against the empty rooms I now own.

Copyright (c.) 2009 by Adam Henry Carriere. All Rights Reserved.


My cake, expatriated, feared
being eaten far from home,
being made of ingredients
Christian bakers wouldn't allow;

my party, exiled, loathed golden silence
where Viennese waltz, be-bop, and
cymbalom don't cotton to karaoke;

and my candles, exhumed one at a time,
heaved to be blown out by desert air.

Copyright (c.) 2009 by Adam Henry Carriere. All Rights Reserved.

The People's Democratic Republic

The working man's beach
sweats in kindergarten
drops, where people
still fish outside
and the exact contours
of the hills blur
under the sun's milky dusk.

The wind toils to organize
the gulls, who are chased
by a lone small dog,
treating every proletarian
inch of the second class
shore as if it were his,
and his alone.

Copyright (c.) 2009 by Adam Henry Carriere. All Rights Reserved.

Yage, and Much Learned Pornography

Billy and Al got passports
to look for a pharmaceutical
Dr. Robert, their corner quack,
didn't carry.

From the Andes to the Orinoco
they looked and looked,
eating every unfamiliar flower,
smoking all the strange birds,
until their addiction
emptied a jungle.

They would have to make do
with tangerine virgins
and much learned pornography
carefully archived by major universities
throughout America.

Copyright (c.) 2009 by Adam Henry Carriere. All Rights Reserved.

Father Figure

Inside the hopelessly outdated mid-80's
technopop, a graveyard's giggling
in between inhalations of cocaine,
Kristal, and any degenerate nobody
willing to trade the skin of their body
for a well-lined whole in their soul.

Every snatched corpse snickers
at our tar-framed memorial;
every palm tree shakes its coconuts
waiting for used Chevys to return;
the rest of the campus barrio just grins,
knowing a fool when they see one.

You'd think a stolen childhood
and a lost adolescence would buy
a better visitor's pass than the
nanosecond furlough drawn.

You'd think every frostbitten body
deserved more than an hour
(or two) in the sun.

The problem is, justice depends on
basic belief in beings
any sane madman wouldn't give
a second thought to,

the very moment they stared at the
'Welcome to Arizona' highway sign
and found out little Virginia
is the one who should have been
locked up a long time ago.

Copyright (c.) 2009 by Adam Henry Carriere. All Rights Reserved.


The black is night,
the voodoo heart,
the ocean without sun.
The white moon in black eyes
makes tears move
like constellations.
The skin warms brown
and glides copper,
black as the sundown,
but all are negre.
People apart,
lady women,
boat dwellers,
boys who do with boys,
all are negre.
Negre freedom is the mirror,
the chicory reflection
seen by mulatto eyes,
a second-class image
crying, with an ivory smile,
'Negre...I am negre'.

Copyright (c.) 2009 by Adam Henry Carriere. All Rights Reserved.

Sleeping with Degrelle

I bedded on a hard rock,
fell asleep,
listening to Haydn.
Gassy water churned
my frame, my pale
cuisine. The Metro
stopped in my dream.
Even homeless immigrants,
stars, carried on
as proper citizens,
comfortable in their arrogant
tax-paying. My storm-tossed
pillow time gave up
to the secret police,
seeking a collaborator
for inquiry into dark
passages they’d been told
in a recent sermon
ignored by the networks.
The dream soon gave way
to living daylight but no
body rose in the clatter
of the nightmare.
A store-bought nuclear force,
I kept running, disco to disco,
smashing open painted windows,
letting in fresh diesel exhaust,
allowing beer-drenched sweat
and mass-marketed smoke respite.
Cold neighborhood air
invaded the dance floor,
staccato electricity circuited
into glorious acoustic form,
transforming the half naked
into proper believers clad
in white tuxedos, perfectly
applied makeup, galley slaves
swathed in sero-negativity;
they wept with humble Pei,
leaping through glass pyramids
onto display of tourist-friendly
masterpieces. The cold barrel
of a very old profession
woke me with a start.
My panic left fitfully
sleeping puddles
on the boutique of far-right
barricades, where the rest of gay
had been concentrated,
unable to correspond with the rest
of Europe without handcuffs,
plastic gloves, and generic facial masks.
An insensitive distance,
ruined Lutheran temples
and looming Roman Eglise
kept egalitarian sympathy over
our huddled bodies until one
of us fell, at first from exhaustion,
then from hunger, finally,
from a luridly antiseptic fever,
a disease so clinical, so
mathematical, democratic, even,
in its efficiency, in our death
throes, we called it civilized.
I pulled a young missionary corpse
into my perforated arms, running
my face into the mud and rain
caking his blond features
before using him to shield
my unnoticed passing into the side
walks of the unborn.

Copyright (c.) 2009 by Adam Henry Carriere. All Rights Reserved.

Time Stitch

I see, I see, said the blind man to the deaf dog
to the assembled throng
of boys that don't belong,
of cabbages and kings
polar bears and whales
places and things
bedtime stories and kinky tales,
the midnight sun and the Mediterranean dawn
the full Biscay moon and faces long gone
museums in the morning drizzle
crashing waves on the shore,
as high as the angels in the Alps
alone at home, angry and poor;
the night train strangers under the northern lights
ill-dressed tourists and carbonated neon brights
what a sad sight
seen by eyes that don't work right
punctured by needles icy cold
to travel a broken cobblestone path, so we're told
cruising railroad stations for rented meat
fine dining and morphine cocktails trying to deny defeat
flying alone in a premier class seat
mountain air saliva he holds in his lip's heat
great towers bathed in whimsy
empty Norman beaches to every side
wandered by husbands
desperate for their brides;
interstates and passports
postcards and souvenirs
laughter and bliss
people you can hardly miss
sights so beautiful you feel felt up by God
and shed an atheist's few tears;
I've been to heaven, and it's a lot like Paris.

Copyright (c.) 2009 by Adam Henry Carriere. All Rights Reserved.

Queer Quadrille

Aloof, Voltaire would advise looking
for someone less like a character
in a book; Goethe agrees, adding,
'Though a little less re-writable,
or less so than I.' Genet shouts,
'I want a boyfriend!'. With anxious nod,
Forester peeks open his journal
writing, "He can look like this...
bare, often, warm in the dark, soft
to the touch." Myakovsky growls,
'Zapadniks!' and seizes a quill,
scrawling, "Short, sweet-smelling
hair, fingers to glide over ice,
my heart, nipples for erect tongue
to caress." Isherwood raises a gloved
hand. 'What about, "Lips tight over
closed eyes that picture him always,
out-of-fashion movies unremarked
by the Society page." Hm?'
Fugard claps politely. Greene sneers
perfidiously. 'Veneration doesn't propel
boys into refuge. The wind does.
"Let the West Country breeze hide
with him in my soul." That sort of thing.'
Ludwig und Richard leave the city.
Hiding under the buffet, Kundera
tosses a note onto Schiller's lap.
The German reads it skeptically.
"A near-perfect banquet that isn't
a black grave." La Rochefoucault
pours more wine. Da Ponte and Schikaneder
carouse duetically. 'Pulsating with the blood
of love, coursing through our exchange,
beloved and immortal!' Williams scurries
out through the back door. Mishima
takes his bread. Goddard scribbles
on the tablecloth, "Captured in silver
dust, framed in gold, the boy makes
the man one." Stone drunk, Fitzgerald
approves; Gertrude demurs. Tchaikovsky
begins a seventh symphony on the spot,
but cannot decide what to call the piece.
Balzac, smelling of cognac, proves no help.
Marlowe begins to bicker with DeVere.
Yevtushenko wins a drinking contest
with a bitter Hemingway and takes the floor.
'A man's love is voluminous! Glorious! Victorious!'
Seeing Mandelshtam hasn't yet arrived, he weeps.

Copyright (c.) 2009 by Adam Henry Carriere. All Rights Reserved.