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Posted by : cj on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 06:01 PM
Members' Posting Pool .
All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced
in any manner without permission from the author.

Ten New Poems Written By C. J. Laity

Dedicated to all the Prozac popping nine-to-five women
who don't appreciate their unemployed, alcoholic boyfriends.

This Is How It Happened

As I stood upon my battleship
She came to the helm crying
Said she saw her reflection in the water,
fell in love with it
Said she would need to jump overboard
I begged her no, what is down there below
That she couldn't find up here with me
A life with the mermaids, she said
A life without you or this battleship, my own life
But you are jumping over the edge of a battleship, I pleaded
Surely you should take me with you
To protect you against the sharks
You are mistaken, she said, wiping her tears
It is I who have been protecting you

I'll make you a deal, she promised
I will only go for a swim
I will go see what is down there
I will see what sunken treasures there are
And try on the coral reef for size
But then I will come back
Because I need you
and I love you, I promise, I promise . . .
So she bought a designer bikini for seven bucks off a pirate
Dove right in despite my objections
Disappeared for a couple of days
Once in a while some breath would rise
And I could hear her voice trying to find me
Bug I ignored her, not wanting to get in her way
And finally she rose to the surface
You are home, I announced with much glee
You are mistaken, she said, drunk with excitement
My home is down there, not up here with you

She marked the date on the calendar
On her birthday she would jump overboard
To be with the mermaids
To be with the reflection of herself from the past
And every day she packed her bubbles
I made love to her and wept deeply
Every morning I would spoon her
A big smile would form on her face
Though I knew she was thinking of her life
away from me when she smiled
I told all the troops to congratulate her
And we all threw her a big party
With confetti and corks popping
Though I didn't know what for
There is certainly a lot of pressure
At the bottom of the ocean
Some dangers as well, I told her
You are mistaken, she said, giddy with gadgets
It is you who will be in danger without me

She wrapped everything she owned in a giant pea pod
And a helicopter floated over, carried it away in a net
She told me to send down Morse code signals
To alert the mermaids of her arrival
And I did, even faced with the absurd
I could not refuse her requests
She kissed me, pet me like a dog
As she celebrated with her friends
Over the brokenness of my heart

But it all felt wrong despite her confidence
And every time I spoke with her
It was like speaking to a stranger
Like her mind had been washed
Of our long journey together
As if the glimmering sea had hypnotized her
As if the song of the whales were whispering secrets
Please stop this nonsense, I bellowed
You are not a mermaid, you will drown
You are mistaken, she said with her hands on her thighs
You are the one drowning, and I can no longer save you

As I stood upon my battleship
With its roaring turbine under my feet
With its guns ready to blaze at will
I waved goodbye
Though my heart was sinking
I watched her walk out onto the plank
Suitcase in hand and lei around her neck
There was a roar of applause
She blew everyone a kiss
Stepped over
Dropped straight down

The water went kaploot
and she was gone


For one minute can we put aside who you slept with
or that day when I got drunk
or who works harder than who
or who is right or who is wrong --
and talk about your puppet master Lexapro,
the pill that pulls the string out of your back
so that you can function in a methodical routine
without having to feel anything in your heart.
The subject has been so taboo with you.
You either are screaming at me why you need to be on it
or sobbing about why you have the strength to get off it.
It closes your eyes and poof you are gone.
No one to make love to.
No one to share my life with.
Just a big pill of Lexapro, sitting on the couch, trying to focus.
A walky talky what the fuck nothing matters
I don't feel a thing and it feels just fine,
somehow managing to brush your teeth before you collapse.
I lost my lover to Lexapro, that bastard mind controlling Svengoulie.
It has not exactly taken your emotions away,
only the emotions of others, so that you can no longer empathize,
and if you never have to worry about others, you'll do just fine.
It's like that haunted car Christine has a plan for you that doesn't include me,
is guiding you step by step through her diabolical feminism,
introducing you to her smiling friend Lexapro,
who always has the good stuff and never disappoints.
Dancing you around like a marionette
with fragile wooden legs drunkenly kicking,
convincing you that it is your choice.
No, it is Lexapro's choice.
Since the first day you dried up like the Vermilion river,
it all went to dust, your tears, your longing, your passion,
that European womanhood you still dream about,
the sex between your legs. Nobody warned me.
Christine did not have the balls
to prepare your lover for whatever it was that she was guiding you through.
The haunted car just revved up to your delight,
caring not one iota for the person who would ultimately get hurt
when she completed her master plan for Lexapro and you to wed.
Nobody introduced Lexapro to me.
It just suddenly appeared, and always held your hand,
walking you to and fro as if you were blind,
and you began to become transparent,
until I could see through you to the other side,
until one day you were no longer there at all.
You are now flying through the sky
straddled on your pill of Lexapro,
singing the theme to the Mary Tyler Moore show to the moon.

Off The Wagon

Pour me a stiff one make it a double
We're going to celebrate that I'm off the wagon
We're going to have going away party for my sobriety
The good times are back let's rock and roll
And the dry heave toothbrush morning ritual
The time bomb driver looking for an excuse
He's back with glass of porter and a half pint
You can all relax and wet your whistle
I'll finally have one with you, finally be your friend
I give up already, I'm crying uncle
A staggering swaggering blubbering horseshit talker
Hugging you whether you like it or not
Mouth made of gaseous dungeons and vinegar sweat
As the money runs out it gets as cheap as Hams
Smile on my face holding the pudding in my ass
Welcome back the party animal loved by many
Waking up to a stranger with a thick mustache
Dance to Imitation of Christ on a flimsy speaker
Arrested in the Jewel for watching the boxes pirouette
Pump that kegger I'm rearing to go
Won't worry about it until the next morning I promise
Make it more acceptable, put on a nice label
Or plain paper bag on the floor in the corner
My true lover come out of your bottle, I'm yours

Sympathy Fuck

I want my sympathy fuck
You gave me your cash
But that's not enough
I want a piece of you
I want to fuck you
At least as hard
As you think you're fucking me
I want to fuck you sideways
On your knees
In orifices you didn't even know existed
The way I like it for a change
Just fuck you, no really, fuck you!
Because you never let me fuck you
I mean really, just lick my lips and fuck you
In the half-decade we slept together
Never once let me have one good fuck
A fuck that didn't include a mind fuck
A fuck that wasn't all fucked up
You remember how to get fucked, don't you
You certainly fucked enough men
Before you began "making love" to me
A fuck where I get to be the man for a change
Dirty talking boozie smelling filthy farty shithole of a man
But what the fuck
It's a good fuck
Fuck the challenge of giving you an orgasm
When I spread you open all I see is a pink question mark
Made of more question marks
Even more question marks inside those question marks
Like some kind of stupid fucking fractal into infinity
How about you just shut the fuck up for once
Play along for a change
How about a good old-fashioned fuck
You owe me a sympathy fuck
Because I want the other man to know
What it feels like
When somebody else is inside of you
And I want you to know
That I know
That it is nothing
Sympathy fuck
And I also want you to know
That your sympathy is in vain
Because I don't give a fuck
I know it's just a fuck
I know you're just doing me a fucking favor
Whoring yourself out for my cooperation
I'm no fucking idiot
But I want it anyway
I want to fuck you like you're a stranger
Forget the fucking passion
I want you to wonder
Why all of a sudden a have a monster for a cock
Because you're the one leaving me
But I want to make it crystal clear
Who's fucking who

Twenty-Three Pairs Of Shoes

One for when you puked on the platform
it looked just like your precious painting
One for when you did your hairdresser
doggy style in the back of his salon
One for when you grew it out
turning on your side so I could smother
One for when you talked to Shelly
told her you were leaving before you told me
One for going on a diet
then using your new body as a weapon
One for when you went to Wonderbar
happy holidays to you too my love
One for when you wouldn't stand up for me
let me crash for your moral principles
One for the handful of pills you swallowed
then having the gall to fear me suicidal
One for your friend the fugitive murderer
isn't he a lot like me
One for how you broke my heart
you asked me what's the matter now
One for thinking you were a psychonaut
opening doors you had no right to
One for my cracked rib and your response
wasn't as important as an episode of West Wing
One for all the lies you told
mainly the one about your new dress
One for turning me inside out
what a feeling of power it must have been
One for your promise to never leave me
bought and sold in a Jerusalem temple
One for your phony bachelorette party
it showed what marriage really meant
One for the years with the Zionists
for pretending that you weren't one of them
One for passing out on the couch
at nine o'clock every night of the week
One for calling me a straw man
now you know that there is blood
One for having a problem with my job
you made me believe you preferred the alternative
One for the weeping in the bathroom
and the lack of tears when they were needed
One for all the pot you smoked
there are many different kinds of addicts
One for never cleaning the house
somebody had to do it you ungrateful bitch


I said the angels are in mourning
My chest opened like a garage door
The flood pouring out too sincere for words

She said what are you crying for
People do it to each other every day

My grieving piled up like cotton
Denial, anger, bargaining, depression
Ominous tension looming in the air

She stuck her foot up and wiggled her toes
I think I'll go get my nails done

The minutes turned to hours, the hours turned to days
Each moment my heart ached to be close to her
Knowing the last moment was scheduled to arrive

She said dude check out my new phone
It (like) takes pictures and everything

And when the song played I decomposed
Broke down into a blob of nothingness
Melted at her feet like a stain on the carpet

But her nose was buried in Savage Love
She guffawed and read me something gross

And then she made me sublet our apartment
And then she made me help her pack
And then she made me move her furniture
And then she made me take care of her cat
And then she made me make love to her
Making sure I knew that she was also bored with that

So now I've reached the point of acceptance
A month's journey through dungeon traps
Walked my mile over thin ice

She's going to make someone else real happy
She's going to make someone a good wife

San Freedom

it is told
the goldfish are made out of gold
the homeless ask for spare c-notes
and the cloud is a smiling face
only raining upon request
in San Freedom,

poets believe in psychotherapy
want to have it performed on them
get their annual check ups
get their teeth cleaned and whitened
career path the only war path
and all the men read the New Yorker,
all the men are rich
sensitive, understanding,
and will eat you out like a rubbermaid mop
will forgive your every discretion
in San Freedom,

i have heard
no one gets sore feet walking its hills
and everything is recycled
and recycled
and recycled
there are cute little dresses in every window
affordable, like the haircuts
and it is always spring, the only fever
no such word as unemployed
no dreamers, no miracles, you earn what you get
none of the dicks are finicky fellows
none of that in San Freedom

the ground rumbles
hungry for you in San Freedom
no melted tootsie roll on the sidewalk
the city lights become a bookstore
the winter just a scent in the air
not meant for the man who bites his toenails
not meant for a househusband
not San Freedom

instead shoes,
shoes galore,
and bras that keep you
looking twenty-four

the maids do the dishes
the cat pampers itself
the snuggles are expensive but worth it
if you can afford it, wardrobe hit
and there is no tooth decay in San Freedom
everyone has insurance, no one is off the books
nobody buys their glasses from Walgreens
nobody dares give their pet an enema
in San Freedom

somewhere a lost love flutters like a startled dove
a missing note
a missing beat
a lump in your throat
swallow hard even though it hurts
control, maintain, wipe your eyes
stand up tall
you are somebody
because you are in San Freedom

and there is no crying in San Freedom
because everything is simply hunky dory

Roll 'Em, Cut, That's A Take

Jesus turned down the chance to be my co-star
Something about me worshipping a false god
Way back then when I was a screwed up teenager
I put a blob of wax on my Catholic boy forehead
Imprinted my thumb in it like a Bollywood idol
Is that all it takes to offend the mighty Lord
What a hypocrite he was for holding it against me
All that talk about forgiveness and love
But then again I was his exception
And he wanted to have nothing to do with my show

So I called upon the Muse to do my bidding
To find a new team of writers for the next act
Completely overhaul this horrible script called my life
No more thick symbolism or Dadaesque absurdities
Nobody believes it anyway. Fire in the hole
Time for some realism or gentle human drama
Insert at least one twist that doesn't end twisted
Hell, get another director and producer as well
I cannot describe how bad the editing has been
Any attempt would put me up there with Sergei Esenin

And when the scenes were shot I called upon Cupid
to put Valentine hearts in her eyes once again
Plant the flashback in her brain, New Year 2000
When I filled her emptiness on the beanbag chair
She was suddenly lost in the passion of romance
Simply unable to say her goodbyes
Nothing else mattered, no desire more urgent
Than to wrap her arms around my belly
Kiss my chest and wet my shirt with her tears
Make love with abandon because there is no tomorrow

My new life premiered to a full house at the ArcLight
And I'll be damned if the Lord wasn't sitting there, third row
I stuck my tongue out, blew him a raspberry
He shrugged his shoulders, shoveled popcorn into his jowls
The lights went down and the spotlight was upon me
I said a few words then took a big bow
And the screen lit up and my dolby exploded
It may not have been reality but I could dance like John Travolta
A pistol in each hand and fighting twenty men with karate
Compromises have to be made when you're a mortal sin soul

The Blues

(Written for and performed on the Juke Joint Stage
at the Chicago Blues Festival, June 9, 2005)

Oh baby why you do me wrong
When I'm down you're out on the town
Tol' me to my face
Packin up join the rat race
Oh baby why you kick me when I'm down

Oh baby why you leavin me this way
Come home one day slapped the cold play
Break my fragile heart
Done got a head start
Oh baby you rollin in someone else's hay

Oh baby why you messin with my soul
Hang me out to dry on your flag-pole
Put on your high heel shoes
So you can stomp on my blues
Oh baby why you stuff my socks with coal

Oh baby what's your goddarn plan
Stuff me in a box for another man
This ain't no onion joke
You see my pockets' broke
And my heart's been thrown in your garbage can

Purple Bra

It's like something a child would wear
Your purple bra, there on the floor
Next to the blow up mattress I'm using
Losing air, my elbows touching the floor
You took the space age bed with you

That purple bra is a lot like you
At first glance so tender and innocent
But think about what it does
It holsters the two greatest weapons
Ever invented by God

Your purple bra is there on the floor
Waiting for me to surrender
Waiting for me to pick it up
Demonstrating its power over me
Does anyone else know what color it is

Now when I see all the little girls
With their blonde curls and blue eyes
I wonder what kind of beasts lurk there
What dominating caterpillar will emerge
When the butterfly goes into her cocoon

Will she rebel under her business suit
Knowing that her nipples mock the world
How much of it will she consume
When her womanhood blossoms
And she buys her first purple bra

I think I killed you in another life
But all I know is, I didn't kill you tonight
In some other dimension you became my wife
Purple wedding dress, heart shaped cake,
Wielding a shiny butcher's knife

The mini-chapbook San Freedom has been given to you free of charge. If you would like to support the work of the author, buy his non-poetry title, Disco Hypnotic, click here.

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