a real sizzler
my little Galanos
and shy away
What’s a little haute couture to the woman who denies everything?
Trippy kitten telephone wires
lead me back to the bunker
choir, my secret rage
I remind Nancy, on hold,
that allegiance comes with a price
Signed with a nice love always
(I can no longer give blood.)
Right up into the future,
what Nancy wears influences everything
Even me her groping styles determine all for instance
which window I open on which side of the house
What is a simple choice
for her — a
on a casual pullover
worn in a waltz across the White House sod —
a yawn toward the
helicopter, her strident pilot,
uncertain hand to shade his eyes
Contingencies like these dictate my week’s reading
(Soul on Ice, Lolita,
a dash of Dickinson)
Another sequence of events demands I take up tennis,
possibly build a barn
Inside the barn, I discover
Mars in retrograde
Before long, I learn to call her on capture
conjuring long spirits
as if aircraft travel
gallant, as if
Through Nancy, I begin to see behind the image.*
*Not paranoia but the comfort of another dimension growing out behind this one
starts to soothe pains, suggest lovers to me. So elemental, our one and only catalyst is allure.
Eventually my trusty old post becomes a shadow of what it once was:
Dear North Americans,
I collect Nancy Reagans. Will accept doubles.
Payment in advance.
Seeking red ladies, vacation maidens,
stationary Nancys. Those who read written upon.
in May of ’87,
Those aren’t her, aren’t really Nancys.
The wind is our streets, a romance behind us.
Love, Satan (just kidding) Satan
In 1991 AIDS takes on the color of Nancy’s party: a right republican red. At a certain point, everywhere you looked for AIDS you’d find Nancy Reagan, in any one of her elegant gowns.
In this one, she reclines
on a plush red couch
a drowned mannequin
washed to shore
in pointy shoes,
And folded craft-wise
one over the other over the other
her stilted pose,
her sudden emotionless face,
her maddening inability to lounge
At the center of her coil
that murderous pillow
like a gravestone: R period R period
The live self blinking behind the one represented,
the self that knows its others,
And the questions
inside my mouth
the next hopeless era
What self is safe?
What self wants to be safe?
I’m no Prince Charles,
but I swear
of Nancy’s blank
Won’t you, Mommy,
my little devil,
slip into something
a little more…